The federal government acknowledged our hard work and perseverance with grants to CDFIs around the country, including Northern Initiatives
CDFIs have been here for decades, helping small businesses, entrepreneurs, new homeowners, and people with good ideas and big plans bring them to fruition. In many ways, our work takes place quietly and patiently behind the scenes. The average person knows what a bank is, but may never have heard of a CDFI.
So it was nice to have the federal government acknowledge our hard work and perseverance by granting $1.25B in COVID Relief Funds to CDFIs around the country, including Northern Initiatives. It is welcome support that not only helps us plan for the future, but affirms that the work we are doing isn’t going unnoticed.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said at the announcement, “In serving places that the financial sector historically hasn’t served well, CDFIs lift our whole economy up.”
The Rapid Response Fund grants are notable in many ways:
• CDFIs did a world of good during the pandemic and more and more people are understanding how vital that was;
• CDFIs have a mission to get resources to low-income people and communities, which continues to boost the economic mainstream;
• CDFIs have bipartisan support throughout the U.S.;
• CDFIs are here to support small businesses that a lot of other people aren’t willing or are unable to support;
• Financing these atypical customers helps support communities and families; and
• CDFIs are more important than ever and more people are recognizing that.
The Northern Initiatives staff worked tirelessly during the pandemic to make sure our customers would not just survive, but thrive. We’ve helped with restructuring loans, loan relief, Paycheck Protection Program loans and so, so much technical assistance in the past 16 months. It’s still ongoing, of course. We are so grateful for the support of our mission and we are looking forward to helping these small businesses and entrepreneurs soar.
The video above is from the announcement of the grants at the Treasury Department; Vice President Kamala Harris spoke. The Rapid Response Fund was designed to help CDFIs, which have helped multitudes of underserved businesses and communities weather the pandemic. Billions of dollars have flowed through CDFIs, but these awards represent the largest single direct investment by the public sector.