Washington, DC (October 01, 2020) — The Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) today announced that, for the third consecutive year, it received the nationally competitive Financial Assistance (Base-FA) Award from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. This year, Wacif was awarded $548,000 and was one of seven organizations in Washington, D.C. to receive a CDFI FA Award. The CDFI Fund invests in and builds the capacity of CDFIs to support economic growth and serve low-income, distressed people and communities lacking adequate access to affordable financial products and services.
“Receiving consecutive CDFI FA Awards speaks to the growth trajectory in Wacif’s community impact, and we are honored to receive a new award during this critical time of need for our region,” said Wacif CEO Harold Pettigrew. “This CDFI FA Award is a testament to our capacity to help strengthen the small businesses we serve and to deepen our community impact.”
Base-FA awards cap at $1 million and provides successful applicants the capacity to provide timely products or services to new targeted populations. CDFIs are eligible to use their awards for lending capital, loan loss reserves, financial services, capital reverses, and/or development services. A total of $127 million Base-FA was awarded to over 230 organizations across the nation. Wacif is one of seven D.C.-based CDFI awardees.
The CDFI Program’s investment comes at a crucial period where financial need for entrepreneurs is heightened during the pandemic and economic crises. This award demonstrates Wacif’s capacity to support and empower small business owners throughout the Greater Washington area while furthering our mission of equitable, inclusive entrepreneurship, and economic development.
During the first six months of 2020, Wacif deployed more than $5 million to over 1,000 entrepreneurs, provided debt relief to 100% of our borrowers, and extended technical assistance services to over 800 entrepreneurs. Similarly, Wacif produces tailored business advisory services to help entrepreneurs pivot their business models, access diverse forms of financing, and manage their mental and physical health. In 2019, 84% of Wacif’s advisory services clients were entrepreneurs of color, and more than 60% were women, and 96% of Wacif’s capital went to entrepreneurs of color.
About the Washington Area Community Investment Fund
The Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Inc. (Wacif) is one of Washington, DC. 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. 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.
About the CDFI Fund
Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $3.6 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through: the Bank Enterprise Award Program; the Capital Magnet Fund; the Community Development Financial Institutions Program; the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program; and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $61 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 $1.61 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 www.cdfifund.gov.