Conversations with Our Partners
Many Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are playing a critical role in assisting small businesses in low-income communities and communities of color, especially those hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Termed the “financial-first responders” for small businesses across America, CDFIs are working to fill the growing capital gap small businesses and entrepreneurs often face.
In the coming year, CDFIs will be crucial partners as our country focuses on recovery—they will need to make loans to keep doors open, support new entrepreneurs and tailor technical assistance offerings to help businesses grow. Much of this activity will focus on businesses owned by women and people of color in communities that traditional banks may not serve.
So far, Open4 has invested more than $4 million in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and program infrastructure for research, implementation and capacity building.
The Open4 Project Implementation team recently spent time with Pathstone Corporation, Pursuit and Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI) to discuss what this funding means to them, how CDFIs are helping small businesses navigate the pandemic and the impact CDFIs have in our local communities.