Lancaster receives federal grant for pandemic recovery

Cris Collingwood//April 21, 2023

Lancaster receives federal grant for pandemic recovery

Cris Collingwood//April 21, 2023

Lancaster will receive a portion of the more than $1.73 billion in grants to community development financial institutions through the Community Develpment Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund). 

Vice President Kamala Harris and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo last week announced the grant that will fund 603 institutions across the country. 

ASSETS Lancaster and Community Development Financial Institutions will receive $500,000 to help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and invest in long-term prosperity, according to a statement from ASSETS. 

“This award will serve as a tremendous benefit to the Lancaster small business community by allowing ASSETS to continue and expand our efforts in creating equitable access to capital,” said ASSETS’ CEO Jaime Arroyo in a press release. “As our community continues to recover from the effects of the Pandemic, ASSETS is here to support entrepreneurs as they continue to make our economy stronger, equitable, and ethical.” 

Harris, in announcing the grants, said, “When we invest in community lenders, we help build a future where all people, no matter who they are or where they start. have the resources they need not only to succeed but to thrive. These grants, representing the largest CDFI grant program in history, will enable hundreds of community lenders to invest in small businesses and entrepreneurs, and also provide home loans for families, financial services for local nonprofits, and capital for community organizations.” 

The awards represent an opportunity to accelerate efforts in America’s distressed and underserved communities to overcome the economic effect of the pandemic, said CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris. 

 “The more than $1.73 billion in CDFI Emergency Relief Program (ERP) funding that is being awarded to CDFIs will be utilized to implement initiatives that, among other things, increase availability of financing and capital for small businesses, promote affordable housing, and improve accessibility to loans that help families make ends meet—all of which were compromised by the pandemic, and are vital to community resilience, sustainability and economic prosperity,” CFFI Fund’s Harris said. 

ERP is a competitive grant program designed to provide funding to CDFIs to expand lending, grant-making, and investment activities in low- or moderate-income communities, which have significant unmet capital and financial services needs and have experienced disproportionate economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.  

It will also enable CDFIs to build organizational capacity and acquire technology, staff, and other tools necessary to accomplish these goals.  

The institutions that received grants through CDFI ERP include banks, holding companies, and credit unions as well as non-depository loan funds and venture funds that are designated as CDFIs by the Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund. These mission-driven financial institutions specialize in delivering responsible capital, credit, and financial services to underserved communities.