Recently, we learned of a $665,000 grant awarded to our Rural Investment Corporation for lending capital. The Rural Investment Corporation is a subsidiary of the Center for Rural Affairs that is certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
The award comes from the U.S. Department of Treasury CDFI Fund. This was our first ever application to the CDFI Fund for loan capital. We were among 303 CDFIs who were awarded $208.7 million to increase lending and investment activity in low-income and economically-distressed communities across the nation.
We won the award in a very competitive field where applications far exceeded dollars available. This award will provide attractive lending capital for small business lending in rural Nebraska.
CDFI financing lags in Nebraska, especially in rural areas. To answer this need, we created the Rural Investment Corporation and were certified in 2013. Since, more than $5.7 million has been loaned through the CDFI.
In a world facing increased capital concentration, community led efforts to rebalance the scales of capital are increasingly important to building inclusive and vibrant communities. That’s what this work is about.
The future of the Rural Investment Corporation includes expanded small business lending as well as exploration of lending in other sectors of need in rural places.
Small business loans up to $150,000 are available to small businesses in rural Nebraska. Visit www.cfra.org/reap for more information on lending services.
Feature photo: Our small business programs have helped Rachel Liester, owner of Red Road Herbs Retreat & Learning Center, LLC, with one-on-one counseling and microloans for training, marketing, repairs, gap financing, and ongoing business expenses. | Photo by Kylie Kai
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