In Michigan, Creating More Resilient Local Economies From the Ground Up
Next City conducted a Q&A with Northern Initiatives President Elissa Sangalli about the crucial role CDFIs play in shifting local economies from being extractive to community-focused. Here’s a sample:
What has been your focus in Michigan cities?
We are still committed to supporting rural businesses, but in the last five years increasing the number of people of color-owned businesses we support is one of the top priorities in our strategic plan and we’ve been working hard in Michigan’s urban community to deploy more capital.
We thought about how to create more sustainability. We also tracked funds to support businesses owned by people more socially or economically disadvantaged.
We also have a new program for small business energy efficiency — another part of building a more regenerative economy.