Bill Taft, the longtime executive director of LISC Indianapolis, has been named senior vice president of economic development for LISC and will be spearheading our work to grow enterprises and create jobs in the places that need them. In the following Q&A, he talks strategy, practice and what it takes to build inclusive local economies in real life.
Over the next ten years, LISC will direct 50 percent of our annual investments to fuel inclusive economic development in underinvested communities across America. That means preparing people to take on high quality, well-paying jobs. And it means ramping up our work to help small businesses succeed and transforming vibrant commercial and industrial districts. “We have no doubt that this kind of progress is good for residents, good for communities and good for the country,’ says Maurice A. Jones, LISC CEO.
If you wanted good news in 2016, you didn’t have to go any further than LISC’s new stories page. From January, when we announced $1.3 Billion of investments in our nation’s most vulnerable communities, to November’s #LISCLeads conference in Houston, we found stories of resilience and growth from throughout the country. As you sit back with a cup of cocoa (or something stronger) this holiday season, enjoy our most popular stories from this year.
The federal New Markets Tax Credit program has proven itself to be an effective way to drive much-needed investment capital and commercial development into distressed communities across the country. LISC will use a new $85 million allocation under the program to help attract and grow small businesses, revive blighted manufacturing sites, build new heath centers, develop grocery stores in food deserts, and launch new schools and child care centers in low-income areas.
The Healthy Futures Fund, a collaboration of LISC, the Kresge Foundation and Morgan Stanley, connects health services and affordable housing projects in imaginative new ways. Kevin Boes of the New Market Support Company, a LISC affiliate, lays out the architecture of financing these projects and describes the fruitful connections being forged between organizations that once ran along parallel tracks.