Washington, DC (September 30, 2020) – The Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) partnered with Truist Financial Corporation (NYSE: TFC), NC Rural Center, and community development financial institutions (CDFIs) across the country to launch CornerSquare Community Capital, a new national nonprofit fund structured to increase capital through the CDFI’s to entrepreneurs of color and women entrepreneurs. The $40 million initiative will position CornerSquare to purchase 25% loan participations to give the CDFIs greater leverage, liquidity, and lending power. CornerSquare Community Capital will operate as a subsidiary of the NC Rural Center, a nonprofit that has worked for more than 30 years to support small business owners and entrepreneurs in low- and moderate-income communities.
“This innovative initiative will help further advance Wacif’s mission to drive equitable approaches in our communities, and provide critical support and resources to underserved entrepreneurs,” said Wacif CEO Harold Pettigrew. “We are delighted to join Truist and CDFI partners from around the country on this $40 million effort, and we are excited to put this capital to work throughout the Greater Washington area.”
“We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Truist on this innovative program to help underserved small businesses with their single largest need – operating capital – during this difficult time,” said NC Rural Center President Patrick Woodie. “The first-of-its-kind fund provided by Truist will allow our selected CDFI partners to do more with their existing capital, enabling them to expand their reach and scope across Truist’s footprint and beyond, while increasing our collective support of historically under-resourced small businesses.”
Truist’s seed fund of $40 million dollars, and its partnership with the NC Rural Center, established CornerSquare, which will support Wacif and five CDFIs such as Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE), Black Business Investment Fund (BBIF) Florida, LiftFund, Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIFund), and Pathway Lending’s by furthering our collective commitment to make equitable capital accessible to small businesses. With an emphasis on Black-owned small businesses, 100% of the founding contribution will be targeted to empower racially and ethnically diverse small business owners, women, and individuals in low- and moderate-income communities.
“As Truist continues to have intentional dialogue around social and racial equity, we’re excited to embrace new partnerships and business endeavors to make a meaningful and positive difference in the communities we serve,” said Truist Chairman and CEO Kelly S. King. “We’re proud to support these impactful CDFI partners who share our vision to support underserved communities and provide a sustainable source of funding for racially and ethnically diverse and women-owned businesses that haven’t had access to the traditional lending market in the past.”
This timely partnership exemplifies the comprehensive relief that Wacif continues to provide clients in the Greater Washington area during the COVID-19 public health and economic crises through grant programs, loan restructuring, debt relief, and tailored advisory services. More recently, Wacif joined Morning Consult to launch the Small Business Resilience Fund campaign. Wacif also awarded more than $5 million in grants to entrepreneurs impacted by the pandemic through multiple partnerships, including the DC Co-op Impact Grant launched in partnership with Capital Impact Partners, Minnesota Avenue Small Business Resilience Fund administered by the Minnesota Avenue Main Street and supported by the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development, and D.C. Small Business Recovery Microgrant administered by the Washington, D.C. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.
About the Washington Area Community Investment Fund
The Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Inc. (Wacif) is one of Washington, DC. metropolitan’s 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. In the last five years, Wacif has deployed nearly $10 million in capital to underserved communities throughout the region. To learn more about Wacif’s mission, visit www.wacif.org.
Truist Financial Corporation is a purpose-driven financial services company committed to inspire and build better lives and communities. With 275 years of combined BB&T and SunTrust history, Truist serves approximately 12 million households with leading market share in many high-growth markets in the country. The company offers a wide range of services including retail, small business and commercial banking; asset management; capital markets; commercial real estate; corporate and institutional banking; insurance; mortgage; payments; specialized lending; and wealth management. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Truist is the sixth-largest commercial bank in the U.S. with total assets of $504 billion as of June 30, 2020. Truist Bank, Member FDIC. Learn more at Truist.com.
About Truist Foundation
The Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. The Truist Foundation’s grants and activities focus on leadership development, economic mobility, thriving communities and educational equity. Learn more at Truist.com/Truist-Foundation.
About Truist Charitable Fund
The Truist Charitable Fund is a donor-advised fund created by Truist and administered by The Winston-Salem Foundation.
About CornerSquare Community Capital
CornerSquare Community Capital (CSCC) is a subsidiary of the NC Rural Center, an organization that has been working for more than 30 years to develop sound economic strategies to improve the quality of life of rural North Carolinians and individuals with low- to moderate incomes. Building on the NC Rural Center’s legacy of increasing capital access to those small business owners who need it the most, CornerSquare is designed to strengthen the lending infrastructure of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) by providing more equitable access to commercial capital for individuals who may face additional barriers, which includes women, people of color, and individuals of low-to-moderate incomes.
Established from a founding contribution of $40 million by Truist, the bank that emerged from the SunTrust and BB&T merger, CornerSquare Community Capital purchases a portion of loans originated by participating CDFIs to eligible businesses, which decreases lending risk and allows CDFIs to make more loans to entrepreneurs.