Federal Fund Targets Investments in Underserved Communities - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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Willie Muriel got funds for his business via a Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) fund.

In 1990, when Willie Murriel received a loan from Sunrise Bank to purchase the building he used for Murriel’s Paint and Body Shop in Jackson, Miss., he never fell behind, never filed for bankruptcy, and repaid the loan as scheduled in 2001.

But in 2003, when he needed another loan to purchase equipment — a hydraulic lift and a paint booth, he was turned down by five banks despite having earned annual revenues that averaged $212,000.

“I thought [my financial history] would account for something, but it didn’t mean anything,’ said Murriel, referring to the banks’ insistence that his auto shop did not hold enough collateral and his credit score was too low to receive financing.

Murriel had given up hope, but in 2008 he encountered Ray Williams, the loan officer who approved his first loan. Williams was now employed at Enterprise Corporation of the Delta/Hope Community Credit Union, and believed that ECD could assist Murriel.  ECD/HOPE took into account that Murriel’s Body Shop had successfully served the working class, minority neighborhood since 1986 and loaned him $50,000.

ECD/HOPE helps hundreds of businesses build wealth, generate income, and employ people in areas that desperately need jobs. They accomplish this due to their membership in The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, a federal agency that provides mortgage financing for low-income and first-time homebuyers and commercial loans to small start-up or expanding businesses. The loan application process at a CDFI institution is the same as with mainstream banks. Click here for a for a list of certified CDFIs by state.

CDFI‘s provide injections of private capital into low-income communities with the ultimate goal of stimulating economic revitalization in areas that are underserved by traditional banks,” says Donna Gambrell, director of the CDFI Fund.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.

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