Washington, D.C. (December 10, 2020) – The Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) today announced it was selected by the Citi Foundation as one of 30 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in the country to receive a $500,000 grant to support Wacif’s efforts to provide capital and advisory services to entrepreneurs of color for economic recovery and resilience. The grant is a part of Citi Foundation’s $15 Million Initiative to provide unrestricted funding to support the work of CDFIs for their strong track record of serving small businesses owned by people of color and underserved individuals and communities.
“Business resilience has always been important to our mission of equity and opportunity, and having the resources to support resilience is critical now more than ever,” said Wacif CEO Harold Pettigrew. “We are proud to deepen our strategic partnership with the Citi Foundation as we continue working towards practical solutions that benefit the small business owners that we serve.”
“The disparate economic impacts of COVID-19 and systemic racial inequity reinforce the need for financial institutions of all sizes to work together to support communities of color in more effective ways,” said Brandee McHale, Head of Community Investing and Development and President of Citi Foundation. “By investing—and trusting—in these change agents on the frontlines, we’re helping partners to pivot, adjust and expand to address evolving needs and meet clients where they are.”
The grant will deepen Wacif’s capacity to support entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19 as they pivot and sustain their businesses during a time of heightened uncertainty. Small business owners are particularly vulnerable to the disruptions caused by the pandemic and economic crises due to decreasing business, economic shortages, and health safety concerns. Providing funding to financial institutions, such as CDFIs, that directly work alongside and with small businesses helps to drive economic resiliency in historically underserved communities.
This timely partnership exemplifies Wacif’s comprehensive efforts in Greater Washington to provide small business clients with targeted advisory services to navigate the uncertainty of economic disruption, and work with public, corporate, and philanthropic partners to deploy over $9 million in capital through grant programs, debt relief, and loans by the end of 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 public health and economic crises.
About the Washington Area Community Investment Fund
The Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Inc. (Wacif) is one of the Washington, DC. metropolitan’s area’s leading Community Development Financial Institution (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. To learn more about Wacif’s mission, visit www.wacif.org.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi.
About Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach deploys the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.