Citi Foundation Donates $15 Million To CDFIs ‘On The Frontlines’ Helping Black Businesses

Providing funding that could benefit Black businesses, the Citi Foundation is donating $15 million to 30 community development financial institutions (CDFIs).

The $500,000 each CDFI collects can be used to help small businesses owned by people of color. CDFIs often are financial institutions that provide small businesses lending and other resources to help sustain or grow their enterprises and are often the agencies that serve households most impacted by COVID-19.

The CDFIs were selected via an open request for proposals application process based on their record of serving small businesses owned by people of color and underserved individuals and communities.

The $15 million fund was deployed by the Citi Foundation from initial net proceeds donated by Citi through its participation in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The funding is a part of Citi and Citi Foundation’s more than $100 million provided t- date in support of COVID-19- related community relief and economic recovery efforts globally.

Brandee McHale, head of community investing and development and president of Citi Foundation, stated in a news release, “By investing—and trusting—in these change agents on the frontlines, we’re helping these organizations to pivot, adjust, and expand to address evolving needs and meet clients where they are.”

Calvin L. Holmes, president of the Chicago Community Loan Fund, added, “The global pandemic has exponentially increased the demand on CDFIs across the country to provide critical financial support to small businesses and communities of color. The support from Citi Foundation is furnishing and emboldening CDFIs like ours with the flexibility we need to advance our work with these communities during a time of great crisis.”

Janie Barrera, president and CEO of LiftFund, stated, “Citi Foundation’s funding has made it possible for us to continue our work in providing credit and services to small businesses and entrepreneurs who do not have access to loans from traditional commercial sources. This latest endorsement of our work gives us the freedom and the opportunity to address local community needs without limitations.”

See the list here of the organizations that received the funding.