FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 27, 2018
Brendon Miller, (202) 529-5505 ext. 224
Wacif Joins City Leadership to Celebrate $495,000 in Small Business Loans
District Capitalized Program funded by DSLBD includes $1.9M in FY18 capital for emerging, underserved entrepreneurs
Washington, D.C. (September 27, 2018) – The Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Inc. (Wacif) today joined the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) Director Kristi Whitfield, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, and Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White in celebrating the success of District Capitalized, a Bowser Administration initiative to increase access to capital for District of Columbia small businesses. Through the initiative, Wacif deployed nearly $500,000 in capital, with focus on small businesses and resident-owners east of the Anacostia River.
“As we conclude D.C. Start Up Week, we celebrate Mayor Bowser’s leadership in supporting small business,” said Wacif Executive Director Harold Pettigrew. “Wacif is proud to partner with DSLBD to drive greater access to capital, and impact through inclusive entrepreneurship, community wealth-building, and equitable economic development in the District of Columbia.”
DSLBD established the District Capitalized program in 2017 as an initiative to support D.C. businesses and D.C. residents exploring entrepreneurship – regardless of their business size, industry or risk level – with accessing capital to open and grow businesses in the District of Columbia. The program supported loan capital; training on high-demand topics including financial management, and loan readiness; and, one-on-one training to build credit, access capital, and manage business finances.
More than $7.3 billion in development is planned for communities east of the Anacostia River, making it critical that small businesses in Wards 7 and 8 have the resources necessary to seize economic opportunity. With loan capital and loan loss reserve support from DSLBD, Wacif’s participation in District Capitalized focused on loans between $5,000 and $50,000, resulting in $495,000 in capital deployed to 14 businesses. Small business loans through District Capitalized are one element of Wacif’s commitment to ensuring that necessary resources are available to entrepreneurs east of the Anacostia River.
On October 4th, Wacif will celebrate its 31st Annual Celebration with the launch of new small business initiatives. For more information about sponsoring or attending the celebration, please visit www.wacif.org.
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 DC area by investing knowledge, social, and financial capital in low-and moderate-income entrepreneurs. In the last seven years, Wacif has closed more than $9.2 million in loans and assisted over 2,000 entrepreneurs with coaching and technical assistance, sustaining more than 300 local jobs. Learn more at http://wacif.org.
About the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development
The Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) supports the development, economic growth, and retention of District-based businesses, and promotes economic development throughout the District’s commercial corridors. DSLBD envisions a business environment in which: DC businesses are connected in real-time with local, federal, and global business opportunities; businesses navigate government quickly, confidently, and effectively; and, every entrepreneur and business with a great idea and a great plan has the capital to make it happen. Learn more at: http://dslbd.dc.gov