CDFI Fund Impact Blog

 

 

CDFI Innovation and Impact in the Deltahttps://www.cdfifund.gov/impact/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=35CDFI Innovation and Impact in the Delta<div class="ExternalClassD375CE71D6BB4A59B94E4E80578034B8"><p>The Delta region is a very special place in America. Covering more than 250 counties from the tip of Illinois, south to Mississippi, and east into Alabama, the eight-state Delta region is home to ten million people. Its residents are hard-working, resilient, and creative people who care deeply about their communities. The Delta Region is also characterized by persistent and pervasive economic distress—with poverty rates three times the national average and unemployment that is double the national average.</p><p>The CDFI Fund’s programs have played a substantial role in providing access to capital and credit for a variety of critical community needs throughout the Delta region. To date, the NMTC Program has spurred more than $3.3 billion of investment into 345 projects and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) have loaned or invested more than $5 billion throughout the region. CDFI Fund investments have supported a variety of affordable housing, small business and entrepreneurship, financial education and counseling, and commercial development in the Delta. For a snapshot of the CDFI Fund’s impact in the region, <a href="/SiteCollectionImages/Project%20Images/delta.jpg" target="_blank">click here</a>. </p><p>I have often stated that for the CDFI Fund to be successful in its mission, CDFIs of all types and sizes are needed to address the variety of challenges and obstacles facing communities across the country. The greatest impact can be achieved when CDFIs work in collaboration with a diverse array of organizations in collective pursuit of community and economic revitalization. </p><p>Supporting a diversity of organizations, strategies, and collaborations is critically important in the Delta region. I recently had the opportunity to tour the Delta with certified CDFI Hope Credit Union to see first-hand an array of unique initiatives they have supported in an effort to improve lives in economically distressed parts of the region. Hope Credit Union indicates it has generated over $2 billion in financial and related services for the unbanked and underbanked, entrepreneurs, homeowners, nonprofit organizations, healthcare providers, and other community development purposes. Here is what I saw:</p><hr /><p style="width:48%;text-align:center;font-size:9pt;margin-right:1%;margin-bottom:0.5em;float:left;"> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Project%20Images/bynum.jpg" alt="" style="width:100%;" />Hope Credit Union CEO Bill Bynum outside Moorhead, MS branch.</p><p style="width:48%;text-align:center;font-size:9pt;margin-right:1%;margin-bottom:0.5em;float:left;"> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Project%20Images/social%20suds.png" alt="" style="width:100%;" />Social Suds co-locates key social services at a community facility.</p><p style="clear:both;"> </p><hr /><p> <b>Crosstown Concourse</b> in Memphis, Tennessee has special significance for me in that it was the <a href="/impact/Pages/BlogDetail.aspx?BlogID=7" target="_blank">very first site </a>I toured upon becoming Director of the CDFI Fund. I was there for the project groundbreaking in 2015. It was inspiring to go back this year to see the progress that has been made. Financed with $56 million in NMTCs from multiple CDEs (Mid-City Community CDE, DV Community Investment, Low-Income Investment Fund, SunTrust CDE, MidWest Renewable Capital, and National Trust Community Investment Corporation), Crosstown is a mixed-use redevelopment of a former retail distribution center. Billed as a “vertical urban village,” it will provide one million square feet of retail space (including a grocery store), restaurants, health clinic, charter high school, art center, commercial offices, and affordable housing. At a total development cost of over $290 million, projected community benefits include the creation of at least 500 permanent jobs and the generation of more than $37 million new wages annually in an area experiencing a 32.9 percent poverty rate and an unemployment rate of 9.4 percent. To support its strategy of increasing access to the banking system for underserved populations, Hope Credit Union will have a branch located in Crosstown Concourse. The project is an exemplar of what can be achieved when a community comes together, and when CDFIs and CDEs work hand-in-hand.</p><p> <b>My Cup of Tea and The House at Orange Mound.</b><a href="https://www.shopmycupoftea.com/our-story" target="_blank"> The House at Orange Mound </a>is a resource center for women in the Orange Mound community in Southeastern Memphis. Developed in the late 1800s, Orange Mound is one of the oldest African American neighborhood in the United States. The community experienced challenges and decay through the 1970s and 1980s, but community-led revitalization efforts have begun to reinvigorate this area. Working with women from the Orange Mound community, volunteers and staff teach computer literacy, child-rearing education, GED training, job readiness, cooking, sewing, gardening, and other domestic skills to women who have limited knowledge and marginal exposure to home economics, parenting models, and employment. An initiative of the House at Orange Mound, My Cup of Tea is a small business that packages and distributes tea and provides area women job skill training, mentoring and valuable experience running a small business. To enhance economic inclusion opportunities, Hope Credit Union supports Orange Mound efforts by providing financial education and on-site account opening to program participants.</p><p> <b>Social Suds Resource Center</b> is a laundromat managed by the <a href="http://www.smaweb.org/" target="_blank">South Memphis Alliance</a>. The South Memphis Alliance (SMA) opened in 2000 to help organize neighborhood associations in the urban communities of South Memphis. Over time, SMA expanded to serve youth in foster care and families in need. Located next door to the SMA office, <a href="http://www.smaweb.org/our-work/stand-by-me/" target="_blank">Social Suds </a>provides a space for families to receive information from non-profit and government agencies while utilizing the facility. Again, as part of its economic inclusion activities, Hope Credit Union provides financial education and on-site account openings to SMA clients as part of a one-stop model for community services. </p><p>These businesses and projects are but a few of the many community revitalization and economic development initiatives that CDFIs and CDEs support in the Delta region on an ongoing basis. The CDFI Fund is proud to serve as a partner and facilitator in the continuing efforts to invest in community and economic development opportunities throughout the Delta region.</p><p> <i>Annie Donovan is Director of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund</i></p></div>Annie Donovan2017-09-01T16:00:00ZLocal Impact35GP0|#1df1c2cf-45f2-4333-8365-93be361333ee;L0|#01df1c2cf-45f2-4333-8365-93be361333ee|Mississippi;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#7b1b324b-5c91-4ed6-af66-b40a11835afb;L0|#07b1b324b-5c91-4ed6-af66-b40a11835afb|Credit Unions;GP0|#6739e502-ad8d-4e57-bade-8d5d363e66c7;L0|#06739e502-ad8d-4e57-bade-8d5d363e66c7|In the Field
Enertechnix's Cutting-Edge Technology Reduces Industry Impact on the Environmenthttps://www.cdfifund.gov/impact/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=34Enertechnix's Cutting-Edge Technology Reduces Industry Impact on the Environment<div class="ExternalClass33652F15215245F3AFD0838EB611DE1D"><p>Since 1995, Enertechnix Process Sensors, Inc. (EPSI) has developed innovative technologies for monitoring commercial boilers to reduce pollution and improve their efficiency, cleanliness and safety. Products include acoustic sensors for measuring the temperature of gases in large-scale boilers and infrared imaging systems for visual monitoring of conditions within high-temperature, particle-laden environments.</p><a href="/Documents/Craft3%20CDFI%20Impact%20Story%20081617.pdf">Read the full story here.</a><p> </p></div>2017-08-18T17:00:00ZLocal Impact34GP0|#0760f5d5-6360-4d45-ba32-761ff5345cd1;L0|#00760f5d5-6360-4d45-ba32-761ff5345cd1|CDFI Program;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#b7b05618-445b-40ae-b997-d6200e9475f1;L0|#0b7b05618-445b-40ae-b997-d6200e9475f1|Washington
Program Notes: Inside the New CDFI Program Application Evaluation Processhttps://www.cdfifund.gov/impact/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=33Program Notes: Inside the New CDFI Program Application Evaluation Process<div class="ExternalClass2FF7A4CD3CB74E8FA0BC846317A09164"><p>Over the past few months, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) Director Annie Donovan and members of the CDFI Fund’s staff have been talking a lot about the CDFI Fund’s five-year Strategic Plan, which will guide the CDFI Fund’s program and administrative decisions in pursuit of greater economic and community development opportunities for low-income communities. The very first goal of the Strategic Plan, to increase the impact of CDFIs by supporting their growth, reach, and performance, has already made a significant difference in how the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program) team is handling the application process. </p><p>For the fiscal year (FY) 2017 application round, the CDFI Program and NACA Program team made extensive changes to the Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance applications to encourage greater growth and performance from CDFIs. We’ve discussed the changes to the applications previously, and you can read <a href="/Documents/FY%202017%20CDFI%20NACA%20Programs%20In-Person%20Application%20Workshop_508.pdf" target="_blank">more about those changes here</a>. But something we haven’t talked about as much are the changes we’ve made to our application evaluation process this year. </p><p>When evaluating the CDFI Program and NACA Program applications this year, we plan to both look at the strength of the applicant’s business plan and to require that award recipients commit to achieving at least one of the following four Financial Assistance Objectives: </p><ol><li><p>Expand operations into a new investment area or areas.</p></li><li><p>Serve a new targeted population or populations. </p></li><li><p>Provide new products or services.</p></li><li><p>Increase volume of products or services.</p></li></ol><p>Further, highly qualified applicants will be assessed on the extent of economic distress in the areas they are serving; the extent to which their activities have expanded, or will expand, economic opportunities; and the extent to which the applicant will collaborate with their community and increase its resources though collaborations and partnerships. These criteria will affect the size of an organization’s award. Our primary objective is to let successful CDFI Program and NACA Program awardees maintain their flexibility to respond to local needs with market-driven solutions, but in a way that also encourages growth and expansion to the communities that are most in need of investment.</p><p>As a result of all of the changes to the application, the evaluation process looks different this year than it has for previous rounds. The application evaluation and award selection process for the FY 2017 round consists of five steps:</p><ul><li><p>Step 1: Eligibility Review, conducted by CDFI Fund staff.</p></li><li><p>Step 2: Financial Analysis, conducted by external reviewers.</p></li><li><p>Step 3: Business Plan Review, conducted by external reviewers.</p></li><li><p>Step 4: Policy Objective Review, conducted by CDFI Fund staff.</p></li><li><p>Step 5: Award Amount Determination, conducted by CDFI Fund staff.</p></li></ul><p>We have provided additional information about each of these evaluation steps in our <a href="/Documents/FY17%20Financial%20Assistance%20Evaluation%20Process%20Cleared%203.24.17.pdf" target="_blank">CDFI Program and NACA Program Financial Assistance Evaluation Process document</a>, available on the CDFI Fund’s website. I’d encourage you take a moment to look at the new process as the CDFI Fund spends the next few months reviewing the FY 2017 applications. </p><p>For more information about the CDFI Program and NACA Program, please visit <a href="http://www.cdfifund.gov/cdfi" target="_blank">www.cdfifund.gov/cdfi</a> and <a href="http://www.cdfifund.gov/native" target="_blank">www.cdfifund.gov/native</a>. </p><p><i>Amber Kuchar-Bell is the Program Manager of the CDFI Program and NACA Program.</i></p> </div>Amber Kuchar2017-07-06T18:00:00ZPrograms and Initiatives33GP0|#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

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