A diverse and thriving economy where all people have the opportunity to succeed builds stronger communities. The New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, one of the first Community Development Financial Institutions in the nation, helps drive economic mobility and strengthen our community by providing lending and technical assistance to businesses owned by people of color.
In January 2022, in partnership with the Manchester NAACP, the Community Loan Fund launched the Community-Driven Economic Empowerment (C-DEE) pilot program in Manchester, N.H. The program’s goal is to bring people of color together as a community to create a more resilient local economy in which more of their businesses thrive. The pilot program was funded in part by Bank of America.
C-DEE draws on the historic work of the Manchester NAACP in advocating for equal economic opportunities, and the community economic development experience of the Community Loan Fund. The program began by interviewing business owners in Greater Manchester who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color about their needs. The hope is to expand the work to other areas of New Hampshire.
“Black and Brown business owners in New Hampshire need and deserve equal access to capital,” said Community Loan Fund President Steve Saltzman. “They also need engaged communities and relationships with lenders who understand their vital importance to their neighborhoods. This grant from Bank of America will enable us to reach deeper, serve more businesses, and respond to these communities’ unique challenges.”
“Through our five-year, $1.25 billion investment, Bank of America is committed to advancing racial equality and economic opportunity in our local communities,” said Ken Sheldon, President, Bank of America New Hampshire. “Our support of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund helps to create opportunity for minority entrepreneurs and address areas in which systemic, long-term gaps have existed and where significant change is required to achieve sustainable progress.”
The Community Loan Fund’s Business Finance team offers financing and education to all types of N.H. businesses, with particular focus on farm and food, solar, and women-owned companies. The lenders work with companies that may be growth ready, but not yet bankable, and offer customized financing and technical assistance.
Together, the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund and Bank of America are working to create opportunity and transform lives in our community.