Congressman Jim McGovern

Representing the 2nd District of Massachussetts
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McGovern Announces $2.25 Million U.S. Treasury Award to Cooperative Fund of New England

Oct 1, 2015
Press Release
New Federal Funds Will Support Community Development in Massachusetts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02), announced the award of $2.25 million to the Cooperative Fund of New England (CFNE) from the U.S. Department of Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund to support CFNE's cooperative business lending, healthy food financing, and technical assistance programs.

The CDFI Fund awarded $202 million in grants and loans to 195 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) across the country through the latest rounds of the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program). 

“With this award, Cooperative Fund of New England will be able to continue the important work it does to strengthen our communities,” Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-02) said. “From supporting local businesses to increasing access to healthy food and helping families put a roof over their head, this will help to change so many lives for the better. I am grateful to have a strong federal partner in the Treasury Department to help us invest in New England businesses and families. I look forward to seeing all the good that CFNE will do as they put this money toward so many good causes.”

“We are thrilled and grateful to receive this wonderful award from the US Treasury CDFI Fund on behalf of the cooperatives in New England,” said Rebecca Dunn, Executive Director of the Cooperative Fund of New England. ”This award will leverage private funds and enable us to lend more money in our market area, creating jobs, affordable housing, as well additional  healthy food access to programs to help cooperatives serve the low income community. We really hope we can meet the match challenge by January 2016. What a great way to celebrate our 40th anniversary in 2015!”

“Today's awards highlight how much the CDFI Program has contributed in its 20 year history toward building a strong network of CDFIs across the country,” CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan said “These important community partners are not only on the frontlines of economically distressed communities providing needed capital and credit, they are building a more inclusive economy which benefits the nation as a whole.”

Common Capital, a community loan fund and non-profit organization, is among the awardees. They have supported a number of local businesses and organizations in Congressman McGovern’s district, including Quabbin Harvest in Orange, Greenfield Solar Array, Simple Gifts Farm in Amherst, South Amherst Veterinary Hospital, and others. Through this work, they support local economies with the goal of creating positive social and community impacts.  They connect capital and other resources to community needs and opportunities.  They accomplish this by providing financing and business assistance to small businesses and high-impact community projects.

Key Points About the Award:

  • CFNE was one of only 11 entities receiving Healthy Food Financing Initiative-FA (HFFI-FA) funds and the only group in New England to get an HFFI-FA award.
  • The CFNE award includes $1,000,000 in Financial Assistance awards that require a match with funds from a non-federal source.
  • Financial Assistance awards can be used for lending capital, loan loss reserves, capital reserves, financial services, and development services.
  • CFNE has already matched $850,000, and is actively soliciting additional matching funds.
  • The CFNE award also includes $1,250,000 from the Healthy Food Financing Initiative Financial Assistance awards. These are supplemental funds under the CDFI Program for eligible CDFIs that expressed an interest in expanding their healthy food-focused financing activities and had received Financial Assistance awards, and they do not require a match.

Certified as a CDFI in 1996, CFNE received its first CDFI Fund award of $250,000 in 1997 to increase capital access for cooperative business owners across New England and into upstate NY. Since then, CFNE has been awarded almost $8.9 million to date (including its recent $2.25 million award) to continue that work and to expand its focus toward development of healthy foods systems. Since CFNE's founding in 1975, it has made over 760 loans, totaling almost $40 million, which have resulted in the creation or retention of over 9,900 jobs and 5,400 housing units across the region.

The CDFI Fund invests in and builds the capacity of community credit unions, banks, loan funds, and other financial institutions serving rural and urban communities across the nation that lack adequate access to affordable financial products and services. Through the first 20 rounds of this program, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $1.5 billion, helping build a nationwide network of more than 950 CDFIs located in every state, all focused on economically empowering the communities they serve.

About the CDFI Fund

Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $2 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the CDFI Program, the NACA Program, the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, and the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $43.5 billion in tax credit allocation authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program, and $525 million has been guaranteed in bonds through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program. To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please visit: www.cdfifund.gov

About Cooperative Fund of New England

The Cooperative Fund of New England (CFNE) is a community development loan fund that facilitates socially responsible investing in cooperatives, community-oriented nonprofits, and worker-owned businesses in New England and adjacent communities in New York. Since CFNE's founding in 1975, we have made over 7600 loans, totaling almost  $40 million, which have resulted in the creation or retention of over 9,900 jobs and 5,400 housing units across the region. For more information, visit: www.coopfund.coop.  

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