Low- and moderate-income communities across the state will soon receive a boost to their local economies thanks to a $1.5 million award to The Support Center by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) fund.
The purpose of the funds are to help spur local economic growth through small business lending, as well as increase opportunity to expand financial education and training to small businesses in undeserved markets.
The Support Center estimates that the funding will help to create more than 200 jobs in Tier 1 and Tier Counties over the next two years.
Small businesses account for a significant share of the state’s economics production and hiring; they make up 98% of the state’s employers. However, according to National Small Business Association, due to the credit crunch, only 64 % of small businesses are able to obtain adequate financing for their business. They have been unable to grow the business, forced to reduce their numbers of employees and unable to increase inventory to meet demand.
“Every community deserves to have access to basic financial products and services, from bank accounts to affordable home and car loans. The CDFI Program provides access to rural and urban communities across the country by investing in local financial institutions that serve these communities,” said Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin. “This award will provide much-needed capital to help community-based financial institutions offer products and services that would otherwise be out of reach for thousands of low-income Americans.”
“The low-income communities served by The Support Center have borne the brunt of the economic decline, therefore I am pleased to see this historic investment and commitment from the U.S. Department of Treasury in leading new investments in small business, especially in North Carolina,” said Lenwood V. Long, President, The Support Center.