CCDFI Bank, Clearing the Path to Financing Equality

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Spotlight on CCDFI

CCDFI helps people work, live, dream, grow and thrive in healthy communities

This past summer, Roscelle and Sean Shands packed their car with huge bundles of homegrown flowers and delivered them personally to Cascade, a long-term senior living community in Enumclaw, WA. Roscelle is a commercial loan funding manager at Clearinghouse CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution), but this act of generosity and kindness was strictly off the clock: The flowers were a gift from the wholesale flower business she and Sean own and operate on their farm nearby.

No one who has ever had business with CCDFI would be surprised. Founded in 1996, CCDFI seeks to provide economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for lower-income individuals and communities through innovative and affordable financing unavailable in the conventional market.

In 2019, for example, the firm provided $10.8 million in financing to Inspired Healthcare Capital (IHC) for the purchase and rehabilitation of four senior care facilities offering much-needed independent and assisted living options for residents, including skilled nursing and memory care services. Collectively, the four locations, including Cascade, are now equipped to bridge a serious care gap, providing an additional 106 memory care beds for seniors while creating 33 full-time and five part-time jobs.

Much of CCDFI’s efforts are directed at elevating the status of disenfranchised Native populations. A case in point: CCDFI provided financing for a wastewater processing facility that provides clean water in an environmentally sustainable manner without a rate increase to the Navajo Nation or neighboring communities, some of the poorest in the America. Of the $105 million in loans made by CCDFI in 2019, $91 million went to projects serving low-income families.

Other examples of CCDFI’s impact include $5.84 million in construction financing to Paul Quinn College, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) that had not put up a new building on campus in over 40 years. The commitment enabled PQC to fund a multi-purpose, LEED-certified facility and thereby increase enrollment by 50 students. The Los Angeles Mission, another CCDFI funded project, has provided over 123,000 nights of shelter for homeless people.

In 2020, CCDFI was instrumental in creating and managing the FVLCRUM Fund, which is on track to raise $250 million to invest as a combination of equity and debt capital in high-growth enterprises operated by people of color. “For too long minority businesses and communities have been disproportionately   excluded from creating sustainable wealth,” says Henry Childs II, Executive Director of the Minority Wealth Commission and former National Director of the U.S Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency. “So many initiatives focus on treating the symptoms of the problem,” adds CCDFI president and CEO Douglas J. Bystry. “This fund treats the disease.”

Like Roscelle Shands and her colleagues at the company’s offices across four western states and Indian Country, CCDFI is about reaching out, giving back and protecting the welfare and rights of marginalized groups, including minorities, women, Native Americans and the aging poor. At Carpenter Group, we see in CCDFI a company that has successfully built both its brand and business model on a simple but compelling promise—to create stronger, safer, and better communities for all.

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 About Brand Acts of Kindness® 

Brand Acts of Kindness® is a series from Carpenter Group that spotlights companies across industries that are living their brand values in addressing the unprecedented challenges facing the world today.

The series initially headlined companies assisting healthcare workers and first responders, as well as communities, businesses and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also highlight brands taking the lead in supporting social and racial justice, LGBTQ rights, sustainability and the environment. Their stories show how innovation, resolve and action, built on a solid value proposition, can both strengthen a brand and help create a better world.

About Carpenter Group

Carpenter Group is an independent, woman-owned strategic branding, messaging and marketing communications firm that has delivered results-driven solutions to financial, professional services and technology firms for 30+ years.

Our broad cross-discipline experience enables us to craft brand messaging and carry it through to the channels that most effectively connect with our clients’ target audience, from editorial content to advertising to event marketing and more.