JPMorgan Chase Foundation Awards $33 Million to CDFI Collaboratives

The has announced grants totaling $33 million over three years to leading community development finance institutions (CDFIs) in support of their efforts to build capacity and jumpstart job creation in low- and moderate-income communities.

Through the foundation's CDFI Collaboratives program, grants ranging from $2 million to $7 million will be awarded to seven CDFI collaboratives organized around specific community development challenges such as growing small businesses, creating affordable housing, or improving access to fresh food. Twenty-seven CDFIs working in twenty-one states will use the grants to leverage additional capital sources, expand their services into new regions or asset classes, and create a shared infrastructure to improve quality and efficiency.

One of those groups, the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Collaborative, will work to build the capacity of small business lenders and strengthen small businesses in Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Detroit, Seattle, Buffalo, and the metropolitan New York region. Comprising the , the , , and the , the SME Collaborative aims to provide $81 million in small business financing; support two hundred small businesses; attract an additional $10 million in capital; and deploy a joint technology platform to streamline loan application and underwriting processes.

"By joining forces we will share technology platforms, back-office lending capabilities and market strategies to drive more capital to small businesses," said Community Reinvestment Fund president and CEO Frank Altman. "This unique partnership is an opportunity for all of our organizations to realize even more economies of scale in our targeted areas."

"Although some areas have recovered since the crash [of 2008], many neighborhoods continue to struggle," said Jack Markowski, chief executive of , which will partner with the and to redevelop housing and reduce blight in the city. "In particular, distressed one- to four-unit buildings can drag down entire neighborhoods, so we deeply appreciate Chase supporting a partnership...to create a targeted and coordinated strategy to improve these buildings and neighborhoods."

For a complete list of the receiving funding, visit the JPMorgan Chase Web site.

"." JPMorgan Chase Press Release 01/23/2014.