Community Vision is excited to announce that we were awarded a total of $2.2 million from the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund.
The CDFI Fund, a program of the U.S. Treasury, announced awardees of its 2019 CDFI Fund Financial Assistance (FA) and Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) awards. Community Vision received a $714,000 FA award and a $1.5 million HFFI award.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AWARD
Community Vision will use this FA award to introduce new small business lending products that meet the capital access gap for entrepreneurs of color, create quality jobs in low-wealth communities, and break down barriers to employment.
“As a CDFI, Community Vision is dedicated to aligning capital with justice to address a history of discriminatory financial practices. This FA award will support us in removing barriers that contribute to a lack of economic progress for so many communities we partner with.”
– Ross Culverwell, Community Vision’s Chief Lending Officer
Since 1998, Community Vision has received 17 CDFI FA awards totaling more than $15.5 million. In 2018, we used an FA award to further our place-based work in Oakland by providing low-rate and flexible financing for affordable housing development throughout the city.
HEALTHY FOOD FINANCING INITIATIVE AWARD
The HFFI award allows Community Vision to continue expanding our healthy food access work, including the California FreshWorks program, with a specific focus on grocery stores and food retail.
In Northern California, the Hoopa Valley Tribe received $1.4 million in financing from Community Vision to bring a full-service grocery store to the local reservation. In 2016, food insecurity became a front and center issue for the Hoopa Valley Reservation when the only grocery store operating within a 40-mile radius of the Klamath-Trinity region was forced to close due to a significant rodent infestation.
Opened in Spring 2019, the community market, named Lłwai Kiliwh, which roughly translates to “where they sell things,” brings more than groceries to the community. The store prominently features local and organic products, has a full-service deli with a meat department, a coffee kiosk, and seating areas both inside and outdoors. The Tribe also plans to bring traditional foods hunted or harvested on tribal land into the market, including salmon, deer, berries, and mushrooms. In addition to offering quality, healthy food options, Lłwai Kiliwh circulates store revenue back into the tribe and creates new employment opportunities for local residents.
“Over the last year, we’ve instituted a number of new offerings that confront inequities in access to capital, particularly for food businesses owned by people of color. As an organization committed to financing an inclusive economy, we will use this HFFI award to continue to finance the development of new food businesses that create local jobs, wealth, and places to buy fresh foods in communities who have been systematically excluded.”
– Catherine Howard, Community Vision’s Senior VP of Programs & Administrator of California FreshWorks
In total, Community vision has received four HFFI awards totaling $7.25 million.
Since our founding in 1987, Community Vision has deployed more than $350 million to nonprofits, small businesses, and social enterprises throughout California. Through the provision of financial capital and consulting to organizations sharing a vision of thriving communities and social, racial, and economic justice, we help create greater stability in an often unsteady ecosystem of change-making.