October 13, 2016 (Chicago, IL) – Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF) and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI) today announced an award of $3.5 million from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) for an initiative aimed at growing and supporting businesses in some of Chicago and South Cook County’s underserved low-to moderate-income (LMI) communities.
The Neighborhood Retail-Chicago Collaborative is a partnership between CCLF and CNI’s Micro Finance Group (CNIMFG) providing technical assistance services and loans for commercial development opportunities that offer residents access to quality jobs and the goods and services typically found in vibrant neighborhoods in order to build a stronger, healthier community.
CCLF will work with CNIMFG to manage and deploy a community development retail fund across the Chicago area to strengthen the communities of Pullman, Englewood, Bronzeville, West Humboldt Park and Chatham. The partnership will provide responsible low-cost financing options usually unavailable from traditional lenders to commercial retail developers and small businesses to help develop projects and attract new businesses offering affordable nutritious food and other consumer items that create jobs and additional economic development opportunities within the targeted areas.
“Financing new retail development in urban areas often requires complex, multi-layered structures that stack public and private financing sources, which many organizations do not have the experience to structure,” said Calvin L. Holmes, President of CCLF. “With this JPMorgan Chase grant, we are now poised to provide a high level of commercial retail expertise and technical assistance and our capital to underserved markets so that we can drive community change with new commercial real estate development.”
CNI leverages resources through place-based development strategies to drive economic activity and transform underserved communities into places where more people want to live, work, recreate and do business. Through its subsidiary, CNIMFG, the micro-lender applies a complimentary set of financial tools to entrepreneurs operating in neighborhoods on the city’s South and West Sides.
“CNI is improving neighborhoods through collaboration and engagement with community partners, impactful real estate development and by CNIMFG, providing access to capital for small businesses,” said David Doig, President of CNI. “With this award, CNIMFG will double its balance sheet and provide new pathways to entrepreneurship and help them strengthen and revitalize their families and communities.”
“This initiative will generate investment and economic opportunities that will reach neighborhoods across the city of Chicago,” said Chicago Deputy Mayor and Chief Neighborhood Economic Development Officer Andrea Zopp. “By investing in these neighborhood businesses we can strengthen entire communities.”
The grant is part of JPMorgan Chase’s $125 million, five-year PRO Neighborhood initiative that awards collaborative partnerships that revitalize neighborhoods in cities across the nation that have been left behind by the recovery. PRO Neighborhoods provides the necessary capital to local community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to address the drivers of economic opportunity in neighborhoods. The CDFIs work together to pool resources and expand lending activities for building health and education facilities, open retail centers and support community services in area neighborhoods.
“The 2016 PRO Neighborhoods winners have come to the table with very exciting partnerships that aim to draw the urban renaissance and prosperity they are experiencing in their cities into the deeply distressed neighborhoods where they are working,” said Janis Bowdler, Head of Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase. “We are proud of the innovative approaches this cohort is taking to delivering capital to entrepreneurs of color, diverse neighborhoods, and urban food deserts. Each is using a data-driven approach that will create opportunities for more people to share in the prosperity of the local economies of their hometowns.”
Measuring the Impact of PRO Neighborhoods
According to an impact assessment by The Harvard Joint Center on Housing Studies, JPMorgan Chase’s 2014, $33 million PRO Neighborhoods pilot program focused on disadvantaged neighborhoods allowed 26 CDFIs to raise more than $339 million in additional capital for local economic and social service projects. This has resulted in $270 million in loans to finance first-time home purchases, the preservation and development of 1,975 units of affordable housing, lending to 331 small businesses to create and retain 4,432 jobs.
About Chicago Community Loan Fund
CCLF is a nonprofit certified community development financial institution (CDFI) that provides low-cost, flexible financing and hands-on technical assistance to community developers for affordable housing, commercial retail development, community facilities and social enterprises. CCLF supports challenging projects that will help revitalize low- and moderate-income neighborhoods throughout metropolitan Chicago, aiding families and communities along the path toward economic stability, prosperity and sustainability www.cclfchicago.org.
About Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Micro Finance Group
CNIMFG is an affiliate of CNI, a nonprofit organization focused on place-based neighborhood community and economic development. CNI Micro Finance Group is a certified CDFI dedicated to providing the financial tools, services and support to entrepreneurs who lack access to traditional sources of capital, to grow and thrive. CNIMFG offers loans of up to $15,000 for start-up businesses (in operation less than six months) and $50,000 for established businesses, as well as credit builder loans ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. In addition, CNIMFG offers an array of services ranging from technical assistance and professional referrals to business and personal financial health consulting.
About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.
Juan Calixto, CCLF, (312) 252-0424
Brian Berg, CNIMFG, (312) 282-8260
Christine Holevas, JPMC, (312) 732-6206