When you think of March 2020 – and how far we’ve come to get to where we are today – it seems as though we’re still navigating uncertain waters. But there has been some good to spring out of the uncertainty. One of these agents of good is the PA CDFI Network.

As a founding member of the PA CDFI Network, we helped to play an important role in getting grants to small businesses in PA who needed those funds the most. The PA CDFI Network is a coalition of 17 Pennsylvania-based community development financial institutions. Pulled together in the first months of the pandemic, the Network and its members worked in all 67 counties to provide over $250 million in grants to more than 14,000 small businesses. The statewide collaboration created by the PA CDFI Network leveraged shared resources and mobilized its extensive local networks to ensure economic viability for Pennsylvania’s small businesses, through its COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance Program.

Here at Neighborhood Community Development Fund we’ve always helped neighborhoods and small business owners who needed assistance the most. As we move into the recovery phase of the pandemic and look towards the future, the PA CDFI Network stretches what we’re able to do even further. By providing mission-driven financial institutions (like ours) with customized resources and cutting-edge programs that help provide relief, the PA CDFI Network helps spur real change in the communities whose funds it touches. The domino effect that PA CDFI Network funds have on financing businesses, creating jobs and building homes results in a positive impact for the areas those funds serve.

Because we were a part of the PA CDFI Network, our organization received funds that enabled us to forgive 7 months of principal and interest for all of our loan customers that needed this critical help. Through the Network, and in partnership with two other local CDFIs and the Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority, we were able to secure another $20 million of funds. This funding enabled us to give COVID-19 relief grants to even more small businesses in Allegheny County.

Helping our neighbors and getting results for small businesses is what Neighborhood Community Development Fund is all about. If you’re interested in exploring what we can do for you, don’t hesitate to reach out at info@nscdfund.org.

By Mark Masterson, Executive Director