Donsia Strong-Hill, executive director of LISC Milwaukee, was tapped to give the keynote address at Milwaukee Biz Journal’s Women of Influence Awards last week—and to mark that distinction, the Journal interviewed her about LISC’s investments to spark and grow small businesses in historically underinvested, minority communities. It’s a critical tool, said Strong-Hill, for supporting families of color to build generational wealth.
This year, the Federal Reserve is taking a “listening tour” of America in order to update its economic policies and strategy. In an article for Vox, economist Jared Bernstein analyzed a recent Fed panel where LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones described how the tight labor market has the potential to help those the economy has long left in the dust. The Fed, noted Bernstein, would do well to heed that insight.
LISC Jacksonville executive director Janet Owens recently spoke with WJCT, the area’s NPR affiliate, about the city’s incentive plan to eliminate food deserts and what it will take to make that happen. Owens, who was honored with a OneJax Humanitarian Award in April for her years of service to the city, discussed how that plan will need to a range of interconnected resources. It isn’t just about adding more groceries stores, she said. Partners need to come together to close the gap on the deeper issues that prevent neighborhoods from moving forward, like housing, economic development and employment.Listen Now
The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, part of the U.S. Treasury Department, announced the recipients of $3.5 billion in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocations for 2019. The awards include $60 million for LISC, which will be deployed through its subsidiary, the New Markets Support Company (NMSC). Since its inception, NMSC has harnessed $1 billion in tax credits to offer flexible capital for projects that benefit low-income communities across the country--projects ranging from Cincinnati’s CityLink Center, home to 15 social service agencies, to a health clinic-plus-grocery store in Brockton, Mass. to a public library in Petersburg, Va.
An in depth report from NY1 News explains how the Inclusive Creative Economy Fund has galvanized the future of a venerable downtown theater, La Mama. Thanks to a $3 million line of credit from LISC, the nearly 60-year-old institution, which has nurtured thousands of experimental artists and engages a broad diversity of audiences, is able to renovate its aging building and continue its valuable work. The fund’s model of raising debt capital from an array of impact investors to support creative economies and stimulate job growth, the report noted, can be scaled for communities across the country where real estate costs and other forces threaten local arts and culture.