CDFI Impact Blog



Somerset Recycling Promotes Environmentally Friendly Manufacturing Recycling Promotes Environmentally Friendly Manufacturing<div class="ExternalClassAC7D1D594EA34C3290C6245E39FF9435"><p>Somerset Recycling Services, Inc. (Somerset Recycling) has been in business since 1984 as a for-profit recycling company. Somerset Recycling primarily recycles polyethylene materials, but also recycles other plastics, including PET, polypropylene, nylon, polystyrene, and PVC.</p><p><a href="/Documents/Kentucky%20Highlands%20Investment%20Impact%20Story%20091517.pdf" target="_blank">To read the full story, click here.</a></p></div>2017-10-05T15:22:00ZLocal Impact37GP0|#e5ca169a-3210-4374-8024-08bc93cb9c65;L0|#0e5ca169a-3210-4374-8024-08bc93cb9c65|CDFI Bond Guarantee Program;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#aa879898-17ab-4355-9d1a-daba86eeeb29;L0|#0aa879898-17ab-4355-9d1a-daba86eeeb29|Kentucky
Tackling Banking Deserts By Giving New Life to Unused Real Estate Banking Deserts By Giving New Life to Unused Real Estate<div class="ExternalClass61683918A3F0450FA5E0A75A806E3FB4"><h3>A BEA Program Success Story - HOPE Credit Union Receives Two Regions Bank Branches </h3> <br> <p>Last month, the CDFI Fund announced the selection of 102 FDIC-insured depository institutions to receive $18.6 million in fiscal year (FY) 2016 Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program) grants. </p><p>The BEA Program recognizes that it takes financial institutions of different types and sizes to meet the various needs of communities across the nation. One of the primary objectives of the BEA Program is to encourage mainstream financial institutions to provide financial support to certified CDFIs. The BEA Program achieves this objective by prioritizing awards to applicants that provide loans and investments to certified CDFIs and in FY 2016, 59 BEA Award Recipients provided more than $61 million in qualified loans and investments to 56 certified CDFIs. </p><p>Each of these investments was beneficial to the CDFI that received it, and I’d like to tell you about one that I thought was creative and unique. In 2015, Regions Bank, a large FDIC-insured depository institution, donated two brick-and-mortar branch locations in rural Mississippi to HOPE Enterprises, a Certified CDFI credit union. In addition to donating the branches, Regions Bank also provided HOPE with a $500,000 grant to cover operating expenses which helped to ensure that HOPE’s presence in these communities would be a success. </p><hr /><p style="width:48%;text-align:center;font-size:9pt;margin-right:1%;margin-bottom:0.5em;"> </p><p style="text-align:center;"> <img alt="Moordhead Branch" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Project%20Images/MoorheadBranch2.png" style="width:450px;" /> </p><div> <span class="ms-rteFontSize-1"> <em>In 2015, Regions Bank conveyed two empty branches in rural Mississippi to HOPE Credit Union. In addition, Regions provided HOPE an operating grant to support HOPE’s expansion into the highly economically distressed communities of Itta Bena and Moorhead. This donation qualified Regions for a Bank Enterprise Award and will allow HOPE to expand into a banking desert. </em></span></div></div><p> </p><hr /><p>The branches are located in highly distressed census tracts in the cities of Itta Bena and Moorhead, Mississippi. According to the 2006-2010 American Community Survey data: the Itta Bena branch is located in a census tract that has a poverty rate of 40.2 percent and an unemployment rate of over 15 percent; and the Moorhead branch is located in a census tract with an poverty rate of 48.4 percent and an unemployment rate of more than 24 percent. </p><p>This investment counted towards Regions Bank FY 2016 BEA Program Award of $172,199.00. More importantly, however, it provided the physical infrastructure needed for HOPE to expand into these highly distressed rural communities which will ensure that their customers will have access to affordable and safe financial products and services for many years to come. In June 2017, CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan was able to visit these branches. Director Donovan noted that, “what I saw in the Mississippi Delta is consistent with our findings in the<a href="/news-events/news/Pages/news-detail.aspx?NewsID=260&Category" target="_blank"> BEA Evaluation</a>. Program participants are reaching deeply distressed communities.” </p><p>In nearly six years of working on the BEA Program, I cannot recall seeing a more unique example of a mainstream financial institution collaborating with a certified CDFI. I encourage others to think creatively about how they participate in the BEA Program. </p><p> <i>David Fleites is a Senior Policy and Program Officer for the Bank Enterprise Award Program and New Markets Tax Credit Program</i></p>David Fleites2017-10-12T14:52:00ZLocal Impact38GP0|#6977010d-91c8-405e-8f44-4df9b1fb4ec9;L0|#06977010d-91c8-405e-8f44-4df9b1fb4ec9|Bank Enterprise Award Program;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#1df1c2cf-45f2-4333-8365-93be361333ee;L0|#01df1c2cf-45f2-4333-8365-93be361333ee|Mississippi;GP0|#7b1b324b-5c91-4ed6-af66-b40a11835afb;L0|#07b1b324b-5c91-4ed6-af66-b40a11835afb|Credit Unions;GP0|#6c6d17ef-fcb5-4e67-b444-d90ca9e01872;L0|#06c6d17ef-fcb5-4e67-b444-d90ca9e01872|Banks
Program Notes: A Deeper Look at the FY 2017 CDFI Program and NACA Program Award Round Notes: A Deeper Look at the FY 2017 CDFI Program and NACA Program Award Round <div class="ExternalClass18DBB30805C04F3DA3DB49E4EB162190"><p>Recently, CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan spoke at the <a href="/news-events/Pages/speeches-detail.aspx?SpeechID=49" target="_blank">2017 Opportunity Finance Network Conference </a>about how there were more awardees under the fiscal year (FY) 2017 award round of the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program) than ever before in the history of the CDFI Fund. The <a href="/news-events/news/Pages/news-detail.aspx?NewsID=269" target="_blank">303 awardees operate in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories.</a></p><p>This impressive statistic illustrates the essential goal of the reforms we made to the FY 2017 application: to increase the impact of CDFIs by supporting their growth, reach, and performance. The group of 303 awardees includes 50 organizations receiving Financial Assistance awards for the first time. By reaching more CDFIs, and new CDFIs, the CDFI Fund supports the expansion of affordable financial services and lending across the country. The large number of awardees isn’t the only success story in the FY 2017 award round, however. The CDFI Fund met other objectives, such as:</p><p> <b>Serving areas of Persistent Poverty:</b> The Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 required that 10 percent of the funds awarded by the CDFI Fund under the appropriation “shall be used for awards that support investments that serve populations living in” Persistent Poverty Counties (PPCs). PPCs are defined as counties where 20 percent or more of the population has lived in poverty over the past 30 years. These counties can be found in the United States in both rural and urban areas.</p><p>For the FY 2017 CDFI Program and NACA Program award round, one third of the awardees - 101 CDFIs – committed to serving PPCs. 92 CDFIs received $20.1 million in Financial Assistance awards specifically for investments in PPCs, which is in addition to the work that CDFIs already do in PPCs. In addition, nine CDFIs headquartered in PPCs received Technical Assistance awards. </p><p> <b>Geographic representation:</b> Beyond areas of persistent poverty, the FY 2017 CDFI Program and NACA Program awards will reach a broad swath of low-income communities across the United States. The awardees will serve rural, major urban, and minor urban target markets. In particular, 29% of the awardees primarily serve rural target markets; 14% of Americans live in rural communities, and face particular challenges with access to affordable financial services. </p><p> <b>Institutional proportionality:</b> CDFIs can be various types of financial institutions, from banks or credit unions to loan funds or venture capital funds. The revised application was designed, in part, to make it easier for CDFIs to demonstrate the impact they’d be able to achieve with an award regardless of what type of financial institution they are. As a result, the percentage of the 224 CDFIs that received CDFI Program Financial Assistance awards in the FY 2017 round closely mirrored the percentage of institution types that applied:</p><p> <b><a href="/SiteCollectionImages/PublicationImages/CDFI%202017%20App%20and%20Award%20Table%20102517.JPG" target="_blank">Table 1: Financial Institution Types that Received CDFI Program FA Awards vs. Applied </a><sup><a href="#1">1</a></sup></b></p><p> <b>Customer service:</b> Another objective of the revised application was to make the questions easier to understand, less repetitive, and less time-consuming to complete. The CDFI Fund surveyed the FY 2017 applicant pool to see if we achieved these objectives. Of the applicants that responded to the survey that had previously applied for a Financial Assistance award:</p><ul><li><p>43% thought that the revised application was easier to understand than the old application; 43% thought that the difficulty was about the same;</p></li><li><p>50% thought that the revised application was less repetitive than the old application; 45% thought the amount of repetitiveness was about the same; and</p></li><li><p>32% thought that the revised application took less time to complete than the old application; 43% thought it took about the same amount of time.</p></li></ul><p>The survey respondents also provided helpful feedback on the application process and the information the CDFI Fund provides during the application round. The CDFI Fund will be reviewing all of the comments closely as we continue to refine our application materials. Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey for your time and thoughts. </p><p>I’m pleased that our applicants thought that we were moving in the right direction with the application changes. Even though the respondents had suggestions for how we can continue to improve, 79% of the survey respondents thought that the application allowed them to accurately describe their organization and the impact they could make with an award, which is the primary objective of the application as a whole. I am especially proud that with the application changes this year we were able to reach a broad pool of awardees that will have significant impact in low-income communities across the United States. </p><p>Learn more about the FY 2017 award round on the <a href="/news-events/news/Pages/news-detail.aspx?NewsID=269" target="_blank">CDFI Fund’s website</a>. More information about the CDFI Program can be found at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, and the NACA Program at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.  </p><p> <i>Amber Kuchar-Bell is the Program Manager for the CDFI Program and the CDFI Fund’s Native Initiatives</i></p> <br> <hr /> <footer> <ol><li id="1"> <i>View the CDFI Fund’s <a href="/Documents/FINAL%202017%20CDFI%20Award%20Book%20091817_for%20web.pdf" target="_blank">FY 2017 CDFI Program Award Book </a>for more information about the different types of Financial Assistance awards (CORE vs. SECA) and for more information about the awardee pool. </i></li><p> </p></ol> </footer> </div>Amber Kuchar-Bell2017-10-26T13:00:00ZPrograms and Initiatives39GP0|#0760f5d5-6360-4d45-ba32-761ff5345cd1;L0|#00760f5d5-6360-4d45-ba32-761ff5345cd1|CDFI Program;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#c890ec6f-810e-4c92-a8a0-1af04abbffc9;L0|#0c890ec6f-810e-4c92-a8a0-1af04abbffc9|Native Initiatives