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CRF Leads Collaborative To Increase Financing To Small Businesses In Underserved Communities In Chicago





CHICAGO, Jan. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  JPMorgan Chase Foundation is providing a $7 million grant to four leading Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The grant is part of the foundation's new CDFI Collaboratives program, a $33 million commitment to help CDFIs and small business lenders build capacity and to jumpstart job creation in low- and moderate-income communities, including Chicago.

The Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Collaborative is led by Community Reinvestment Fund, USA, (CRF) and includes the National Development Council (NDC), CEI and the Calvert Foundation. The cooperative will work together to lend to small businesses in select areas including Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Detroit, Seattle, Buffalo and the New York City Metro area.

"By joining forces we will share technology platforms, back-office lending capabilities and market strategies to drive more capital to small businesses," said Frank Altman, President and CEO of CRF. "This unique partnership is an opportunity for all of our organizations to realize even more economies of scale in our targeted areas."

"The JPMorgan Chase Foundation is proud to help CDFIs build capacity and increase collaboration in order to better support local economic growth, through its new CDFI Collaboratives program. This collaborative of four nonprofit lenders, led by Community Reinvestment Fund, USA, will support small businesses and create jobs in Chicago and across the U.S.," said Janis Bowdler, Senior Program Director for Financial Capability and Affordable Housing, JPMorgan Chase Foundation.

During the three year grant period the collaborative will work together in their geographic regions to achieve the following goals:

  • Provide $81 million in small business financing
  • Create 5,000 new jobs
  • Fund 200 small businesses
  • Attract an additional $10 million in capital from 7,000 everyday investors to support small business in their own communities
  • Empower local CDFI lending partners to become more efficient small business lenders
  • Support community lending partners by providing the training, consultation, and resources necessary to effectively coach and advise small businesses
  • Deploy a joint technology platform to streamline the loan application and underwriting process and empower local CDFI lender partners to become more efficient small business lenders

About the JPMorgan Chase FoundationThe JPMorgan Chase Foundation is the charitable arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The Foundation focuses on driving economic growth and strengthening communities across the globe, by partnering with local efforts to advance skills-based training, help small businesses, create affordable housing and improve financial capability for underserved people. The Firm and its foundation give approximately $200 million annually to nonprofit organizations around the world and lead volunteer service activities for employees in local communities, utilizing its many resources, including access to capital, strength, global reach and expertise.  More information is available at www.jpmorganchase.com

About CRFCommunity Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF), a nonprofit organization and certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), is a national leader in bringing capital to underserved areas. Formed in 1988, CRF has injected more than $1.5 billion into low-income and economically disadvantaged communities around the country to help stimulate job creation and economic development, provide affordable housing, and support community facilities. CRF is headquartered in Minneapolis, MN. For more information, visit www.crfusa.com

About Calvert FoundationCalvert Foundation empowers investors to empower communities. Through the Community Investment Note, Calvert Foundation enables individuals and institutions to invest in helping low-income communities become healthy and prosperous. Our investors have facilitated the creation of thousands of jobs, classroom seats, affordable homes, and critical services in the U.S. and around the world. Learn more at  http://www.calvertfoundation.org.



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