FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, November 22, 2019
Brendon Miller, (202) 529-5505 ext. 224
Wacif Awarded $200,000 Competitive National Grant for Community Development
CDFI Fund (FA) Award will further Wacif’s impact throughout the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan region
Washington, D.C. (November 22, 2019) – The Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Inc. (Wacif) announced today that it was awarded, for the third consecutive year, competitive funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. This year’s Financial Assistance (FA) award will help Wacif meet community need for safe, affordable capital and innovative business advisory services in underserved communities throughout the Washington, DC region.
“The CDFI Fund award deepens our ability to support entrepreneurs with impactful knowledge, social, and financial capital,” said Wacif Executive Director Harold Pettigrew. “As an impact investor, Wacif’s focus on driving equitable opportunity through entrepreneurship represents an unbound source of economic growth, job creation, and wealth building in underserved communities throughout our region. We are thankful for this award and for the CDFI Fund as a partner in our mission to drive equity and economic opportunity.”
Wacif is one of 261 organizations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and one of only five organizations in Washington, D.C. to receive $132 million in CDFI Fund FA Awards, which builds the capacity of CDFI’s to sustain and expand their financial products and services. This year’s CDFI FA Awards was more competitive than last year’s, with a nationwide pool of 105 applicants and 69 awardees receiving $18.96 million in the Small and Emerging CDFI category, compared to 85 applicants and 57 awardees receiving $22.3 million last year. CDFIs aim to expand economic opportunities in low-income communities by providing access to financial products and services for residents and businesses.
In the last seven years, Wacif has closed more than $9.2 million in loans, assisted over 2,000 entrepreneurs with coaching and technical assistance, created or retained more than 450 local jobs. In 2018, Wacif deepened its impact to meet community need, increasing loan volume by 60%, serving twice as many clients with advisory services, and more than doubling its revenue. Thanks to the support of its partners and the impact they make possible, Wacif was named 2019 Nonprofit Organization of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce and the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development.
About the Washington Area Community Investment Fund
The Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Inc. (Wacif) is one of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area’s leading Community Development Financial Institution’s (CDFI) focused on small business development. Wacif’s mission is to increase equity and economic opportunity in underserved communities in the Washington, D.C. area by investing knowledge, social, and financial capital in low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs. Since 1987, Wacif has invested over $32 million in underserved communities throughout the region. Learn more at http://wacif.org.
About the CDFI Fund
Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $3 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through: the BEA Program; the Capital Magnet Fund, the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, including the Healthy Food Financing Initiative; the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program; and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $54 billion in tax credit allocation authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program, and closed guaranteed bonds in the amount of $1.36 billion through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.
To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please visit the CDFI Fund’s website at http://cdfifund.gov.