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Psssstttt….Small Business Grant Opportunity

The Community Loan Fund was notified today that it will receive a $2-million federal stimulus grant to help boost New Hampshire’s economic recovery.

nh-community-loan-fund1The grant, announced this afternoon by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, will enable the Community Loan Fund to make more funding  available to manufactured housing communities and the homeowners who live in them, as well as to small businesses, child care providers and non-profit facilities.

The Community Loan Fund is a non-profit financial organization that turns investments from individuals and institutions into fixed-rate loans and education that create opportunity and transform the lives of people with low and moderate incomes across New Hampshire.

Community Loan Fund President Juliana Eades said news of the CDFI Fund award comes at an opportune moment.

“During tumultuous economic times, more families, small businesses and nonprofit housing developers look to us for capital,” Eades said.  “This grant means another step toward meeting their needs. It will also improve our ability to attract additional funding and community partners.”

The grant will have a major impact in New Hampshire’s cities and towns. The Community Loan Fund estimates that the capital attracted by the federal dollars, combined with nearly 30,000 hours of technical assistance, will translate to more than $10 million worth of unique, non-bankable, fixed-rate lending per year.

The Community Loan Fund was among 59 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in 26 states and Puerto Rico that received a total of $90 million in financial assistance in today’s announcement. Two million dollars was the largest grant.

News of the grant comes less than two weeks after Federal Reserve System Chairman Ben S. Bernanke publicly praised the role of CDFIs in spurring economic growth and development.  In a speech to the Global Financial Literacy Summit in Washington, D.C., Bernanke said:

“These organizations have loaned and invested billions of dollars in our nation’s most distressed communities and have attracted many conventional investors into underserved areas. For small businesses in particular, CDFIs provide critical funding because many traditional creditors view such loans as too risky or, sometimes, too small to be profitable. As a complement to lending, CDFIs offer training and technical assistance to their customers, directly or through partnerships, thus increasing borrower capacity and mitigating loan risk. Successful CDFI borrowers often graduate to conventional financing as their needs grow, thereby attracting the participation of mainstream lenders while freeing up CDFI resources to plant new seeds in the community.”

The CDFI Fund program invests in and builds the capacity of a nationwide network of community-based financial institutions with a primary mission of community development in economically distressed urban, rural, and Native communities. The CDFI Fund receives applications on an annual basis and awards funds through a competitive process. For more information, visit http://www.cdfifund.gov.

The Community Loan Fund collaborates with a wide range of business, nonprofit and government partners to provide the fair loans and support people need to own homes, have quality jobs and child care, and become financially independent. Established in 1983, the Community Loan Fund was one of the first Community Development Financial Institutions in the nation, and has received industry awards and recognition for social impact, financial strength and performance. For more information, visit http://www.theloanfund.org or call (603) 224-6669.

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