FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 21, 2017
Jeremy Cullimore, (202) 529-5505
Wacif Awarded Competitive National Grant from the U.S. Department of Treasury to Increase Small Business Lending and Investment Activity
Wacif selected as one of 303 organizations nationally to receive CDFI Fund Award
Washington, D.C. (September 21, 2017) – On September 19, 2017, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) awarded a $125,000 grant to the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) to increase its lending and investment activity in low-income and economically distressed communities throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. In total, the CDFI Fund awarded over $208 million in grants and loans to 303 organizations across the nation through its CDFI and the Native American CDFI Assistance (NACA) Programs.
“We are very pleased to announce the FY 2017 CDFI Program and NACA Program award recipients. This is the largest pool of awardees in the history of the CDFI Fund,” said CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan, and former Wacif board member. “These award recipients represent a diverse array of organization types and community investment strategies, serving a broad spectrum of communities. We are especially proud that one-third of the awardees have committed to investing in Persistent Poverty Counties.”
“Wacif is truly honored to be recognized with this award from the CDFI Fund,” said Wacif Executive Director Harold Pettigrew. “As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, the grant award will deepen Wacif’s impact as a champion for inclusive entrepreneurship, community wealth building, and equitable economic development. Wacif will leverage the award to further its programmatic focus, build greater capacity to lend, and increase investments in priority underserved neighborhoods throughout the region.”
The CDFI Fund Award is a highly competitive program with a rigorous review process. Wacif was one of 303 organizations nationally to receive a CDFI Fund award, out of a pool of 434 eligible applicants, and one of eight DC-based organizations to receive funding. Over the past five years, Wacif has closed nearly 130 loans for $8 million through a range of loan products, and assisted over 2000 entrepreneurs with coaching and technical assistance, resulting in over 300 local jobs created or retained. In 1996, Wacif was one of the first loan funds in the Washington metropolitan area, and across the country, to be certified as a CDFI by the U.S. Treasury Department, and has received multiple awards from the CDFI Fund since its inception.
This year, Wacif is celebrating its 30th anniversary at its annual celebration on September 28, 2017. For more information on sponsoring or attending the 30th Anniversary Celebration and Network Event, please visit http://wacif.org/30-years/.
To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please visit the CDFI Fund’s website at www.cdfifund.gov.
About Washington Area Community Investment Fund
The Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Inc. (Wacif) is a regional nonprofit community development organization whose mission is to promote equity and economic opportunity in underserved neighborhoods in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Since its inception in 1987, Wacif has closed nearly 400 loans totaling over $32 million, with strategic investments in small business startup and growth, affordable housing and cooperatives, and community facilities. For more information on Wacif, please visit www.wacif.org.
About the CDFI Fund
Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $2.5 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, the Native American CDFI Assistance Program, and the Bank Enterprise Award Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $50.5 billion in tax credit allocation authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program, closed guaranteed bonds in the amount of $1.1 billion through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program, and awarded more than $171 million through the Capital Magnet Fund. More information on the CDFI Fund can be found at www.cdfifund.gov.