Courtesy of WACIF
Courtesy of WACIF

The Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF), which celebrates its 31st annual celebration on Oct. 4, has been awarded funding from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund to increase lending to underserved entrepreneurs in the D.C. region.

CDFIs aim to expand economic opportunities in low-income communities by providing access to financial products and services for residents and businesses, and this year’s awards were highly competitive, with a nationwide pool of 432 applicants and 264 awardees. WACIF is also one of only four organizations in D.C. to receive the CDFI Fund’s financial assistance award, which builds the capacity of CDFIs to sustain and expand their financial products and services.

“WACIF is honored to receive this industry award from the CDFI Fund.” said WACIF Executive Director Harold Pettigrew. “It is a highly competitive grant, and we will leverage it to drive our focus on inclusive entrepreneurship, equitable economic development, and community wealth-building throughout the Washington region.”

With more than $7.3 billion in planned development in Washington’s Wards 7 and 8 alone, it’s critical that local entrepreneurs have the resources to seize economic opportunity, and this award helps WACIF ensure those resources are available.

In the last seven years, WACIF has closed more than $9.2 million in loans and assisted over 2,000 entrepreneurs with coaching and technical assistance, sustaining more than 300 local jobs. In 1996, WACIF was one of the first loan funds in the country to be CDFI certified by the Treasury Department.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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