Fourteen major banks and funds seed $4 million fund to increase small business ownership, micro-entrepreneurship, and affordable housing in communities of color.
SAN FRANCISCO — The California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC) and The San Francisco Foundation today announced a new initiative that pools grant funding from a collaborative of banks and foundations to improve the economic stability of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) small business owners, microentrepreneurs, and families as California works to turn the page on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Resilience Fund, a two-year initiative developed by CRC and the San Francisco Foundation, will provide grants and capacity-building to launch a new generation of community development financial institutions (CDFIs) led by people of color. Informed and designed by a community advisory board of leaders working directly with BIPOC communities, the fund will support the economic stability of low- to moderate-income small business owners, microentrepreneurs, and families throughout California.
Capital One, Cathay Bank, Chase, CIT Bank, City National Bank, First Republic Bank, Flagstar Bank, Mechanics Bank, Pacific Premier Bank, Signature Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, Tri Counties Bank, The Walter & Elise Haas Fund, U.S. Bank and other contributors raised the fund’s first $4 million. CRC and The San Francisco Foundation will continue to seek additional funding partners to expand the program’s scope and impact.
“To reverse the economic damage inflicted by the pandemic, we need to center the BIPOC-led small businesses and the nonprofit organizations that support them in the economic recovery,” said Paulina Gonzalez-Brito, executive director of CRC. “These communities have been excluded from participation in the financial system for far too long. This transformational new initiative will improve access to capital and resources for the least-served populations in our state by growing the capacity of the state’s CDFIs run by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Additionally, this fund will help break down the barriers to access capital and unlock wealth-building opportunities for BIPOC small business owners.”
“In order to help our communities overcome the scale of this country’s economic crisis, we are required to engage in policies and strategies that ensure an equitable recovery. This in part means strengthening community-based organizations that serve and are led by people of color, and that finance community-based and focused investments. We look forward to continuing to work with CRC on this vital and timely effort,” said Judith Bell, Chief Impact Officer at The San Francisco Foundation.
Through an open call for proposals, a cohort of approximately 10-12 organizations will be selected to receive training and technical assistance, participate in peer learning activities, and receive two-year grants of $200,000 to $250,000. Cohort members will hire new talent, build operational infrastructure, strengthen organizational balance sheets, and provide expanded programing with the objective of achieving CDFI certification. BIPOC-led California-based 501(c)(3) organizations are invited to apply. Proposals are due on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021 and can be submitted here.
About the California Reinvestment Coalition
The California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC) builds an inclusive and fair economy that meets the needs of communities of color and low-income communities by ensuring that banks and other corporations invest and conduct business in our communities in a just and equitable manner. CRC’s 300 organizational members include multi-service agencies, affordable housing developers, housing and financial capability counselors, tenants’ rights and legal aid organizations, small business technical assistance providers, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), small farm incubators, immigrant service organizations, and other community-serving organizations located throughout California. We envision a future in which people of color and low-income people live and participate fully and equally in financially healthy and stable communities without fear of displacement and have the tools necessary to build household and community wealth.
About the San Francisco Foundation
The San Francisco Foundation is committed to a Bay Area where everyone can get a good job, live in a safe and affordable home, and exercise their political voice. The foundation advances its work through grantmaking, partnerships with donors, policy advocacy, and impact investing.
Brian Maxey, 559-286-7705, firstname.lastname@example.org