CDFI Friendly Bloomington Receives Federal Grant to Become a Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)
Bloomington, Ind. – CDFI Friendly Bloomington (CFB) has been awarded a $125,000 Technical Assistance grant from the Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund. This grant will support CDFI Friendly Bloomington’s operations throughout the region and work towards becoming a certified CDFI. This marks the first-ever award to a CDFI Friendly community from the CDFI Fund, the federal body that invests in community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Federal certification would make CDFI Friendly Bloomington eligible to receive direct investments from the CDFI Fund, including matching capital to lend in Bloomington and surrounding areas.
“This award is a game changer for our organization,” said Brian Payne, Executive Director of CDFI Friendly Bloomington. “It will help us bring on new staff and expand our capacity to serve the unmet capital needs of the nonprofits, small businesses, and residents of our community.”
“CDFI Friendly Bloomington has changed the financial landscape in our area with its ability to leverage funds from lenders around the country to address community needs locally, ” said Mayor John Hamilton, who coordinated the establishment of Bloomington as the nation’s first CDFI friendly community in 2018. “It’s exciting to consider how CFB’s federal certification will help Bloomington and our region create more affordable housing, support nonprofit service providers, and respond to other serious community needs.”
205 applicants requested $25.5 million in CDFI Program Technical Assistance awards. CDFI Friendly Bloomington is one of three Indiana entities to receive an award. Under the grant guidelines, CDFI Friendly Bloomington will work toward achieving federal certification by 2025.
“CDFI Friendly Bloomington once again is leading the way by helping CDFIs invest in important markets that they otherwise would not be able to serve,” said Mark Pinsky, Founding Partner of CDFI Friendly America. “Now CDFI Friendly strategies in Bloomington and elsewhere will have access to equity financing to innovate, grow, and serve their communities.” CDFI Friendly America, which partnered with the Bloomington community to create CDFI Friendly Bloomington, is working to replicate the Bloomington model in more than a dozen states.
“CDFI Fund’s Technical Assistance Awards play a vital role in building the capacity of startup and existing CDFIs and, ultimately, increase the impact of the capital and credit they deploy in distressed and underserved communities,” said CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris in the award announcement. The recipients of this grant “will continue that work in communities across the country, including 39 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.”
About CDFI Friendly Bloomington: CDFI Friendly Bloomington (CFB) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that strengthens the communities of Bloomington, Monroe County and neighboring south central Indiana by increasing access to flexible, affordable capital for community development projects in the region. At Mayor Hamilton’s initiative, with strong collaboration from private and nonprofit sector partners, in 2018, CFB was created and Bloomington became the nation’s first “CDFI Friendly” city. This innovative approach is designed to attract Community Development Financial Institution financing from many CDFIs from around the country to smaller markets like Bloomington and our region. Since its founding, CFB has facilitated more than $23,000,000 in capital investments in Bloomington and the surrounding region.