U.S. Treasury Awards $53 Million to Benefit Organizations Serving Economically Distressed Communities Nationwide

Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Director Donna J. Gambrell, of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, visited Milwaukee, Wisconsin today to announce awards totaling $52,715,000 to 62 organizations serving economically distressed communities across the nation. The awards are being made through the fiscal year 2009 round of the CDFI Program with annual appropriations from Congress. The organizations receiving awards are headquartered in 24 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

"The financial assistance awards provided through the CDFI Program build the capacity of CDFIs so that they can increase lending activities in underserved, economically distressed communities. As we celebrate this national award announcement, we are also celebrating the work of these community-based lenders that enables the dreams of entrepreneurs to become realities," said CDFI Fund Director Donna J. Gambrell. "For example, two of the Milwaukee-based CDFIs we celebrate today played critical financing roles that enabled the transformation of Palermo's from a small family business serving a local neighborhood into the successful corporation it is today, employing over 400 people and reaching markets across the country."

Treasury chose Villa Palermo, the headquarters of Palermo's Pizza, as the venue of today's national award announcement to highlight how CDFIs provide vital financing and support to local businesses and communities. With an initial $46,250 loan in 1990 from the CDFI Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation, one of the four Wisconsin-based award recipients, Palermo's has grown into a thriving business now occupying a new manufacturing facility that employs 420 people, of which 55 percent are minorities and 31 percent are women. The other Wisconsin-based award recipients recognized today included Legacy Bank, which has also assisted Palermo's, North Milwaukee Bancshares, and Forward Community Investments of Madison.

The CDFI Fund received 452 applications from organizations across the nation requesting more than $529 million in funding under the FY 2009 round of the CDFI Program. Today's announcement completes the FY 2009 funding round by awarding the remaining appropriated funds to the most highly rated applicants in a combined pool that included: 1) applicants that submitted applications in response to the supplemental Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) published on April 28, 2009 in the Federal Register; and 2) applicants that applied under the initial FY 2009 NOFA published on August 15, 2008 but did not receive a Recovery Act award in the first funding announcement.


Through the CDFI Program, the CDFI Fund invests in and builds the capacity of existing private, for-profit and non-profit community-based lending organizations known as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that serve rural and urban low-income people and communities across the nation that lack adequate access to affordable financial products and services. 

The CDFI Program consists of two types of monetary awards: Financial Assistance and Technical Assistance. The program is funded through an annual appropriation from the United States Congress. The CDFI Fund receives applications on an annual basis and awards funds through a competitive process. Since inception, the CDFI Fund has awarded over $821 million through the CDFI Program.

Financial Assistance awards allow the CDFI Fund to achieve economic and community development impact by investing in CDFIs that demonstrate the financial and managerial capacity to provide affordable financial products and services to low-income communities and populations. Financial Assistance awards are made only to certified CDFIs (meaning, they have been certified by the CDFI Fund prior to applying for funds), which includes both mature CDFIs and small and emerging CDFIs.

For more information about these awards, or about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please visit the Fund's website at: http://www.cdfifund.gov.

2009 CDFI Program Awards

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