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LISC NYC Launches Impact Investment Fund to Support NYC’s Creative Economy at SOCAP18


Leveraging the vitality of New York City’s creative economy, LISC NYC is introducing the NYC Inclusive Creative Economy Fund, an opportunity for accredited investors to finance affordable, inclusive creative workspaces, fostering quality, 21st-century jobs for low- and middle-income New Yorkers. The initiative is being launched with strategic partner Upstart Co-Lab, a national organization that connects impact investing to the creative economy. The NYC Inclusive Creative Economy Fund demonstrates how a Creativity Lens helps impact investors to see new, high-quality opportunities in the creative economy that meet their goals for financial return and social impact.   

The Fund will be introduced in October at SOCAP18, the premiere conference on impact investing, where LISC NYC’s executive director, Sam Marks will be part of the “Creative Workspaces and Quality Jobs” panel curated by Laura Callanan, founding partner of Upstart Co-Lab.

An illustrious group of anchor investors has signaled their support for the Fund with an initial investment of $2.5 million:

“The Fund is a unique opportunity to channel impact investment toward catalyzing and maintaining affordable spaces, which can help businesses in the creative economy thrive. This will preserve creative spaces in NYC’s neighborhoods and provide quality jobs that can revitalize communities,” says Marks.

Proceeds raised by the NYC Inclusive Creative Economy Fund will allow LISC to provide loans to nonprofit and mission-driven organizations that own, lease, and manage affordable spaces for businesses in creative industries so they can get started, take root, and thrive. That means establishing and preserving affordable spaces for light manufacturing, business incubation, maker/artist studios, and cultural activities.

“We’re thrilled to announce the launch of this Fund at SOCAP18. Impact investment can ensure the creative economy grows to be more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable. The creative economy will be the engine of quality jobs for the 21st Century,” says Callanan.

Accredited investors may purchase Notes which pay 2.75% interest per annum and mature on May 31, 2026. LISC may redeem part or all of the Notes starting April 30, 2024. Notes are general obligations of Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), an organization with a nearly 40-year track record of investing in communities. LISC is rated AA by Standard & Poor’s, and has borrowed and repaid more than $1.6 billion on time and in full since 1980.

Gary Hattem, an independent philanthropy and impact investing advisor, former managing director of the Deutsche Bank Global Social Finance Group, and president of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, is an early investor in the Fund. Describing its potential, he notes, “The Fund is an important contribution to the financing landscape for community development that acknowledges the potential of the creative economy to yield positive outcomes for historically disadvantaged populations. My personal investment is grounded in a belief that solid partners like LISC NYC and Upstart Co-Lab can leverage this new capital—alongside the enormous talent in our neighborhoods—to achieve high impact and solid returns." 

Echoing this sentiment, Elizabeth Phillips of the Phillips Foundation discussed the potential of the Fund to extend its reach: "Phillips Foundation is proud to support the first LISC NYC Inclusive Creative Economy Fund. While a creative capital like NYC is a natural place to launch, there is clearly a tremendous opportunity to expand these efforts to other cities in the coming years. We see this investment as a unique way to support quality jobs and revitalize communities—both within New York and hopefully beyond."

The start-up costs of the NYC Inclusive Creative Economy Fund were funded by the following philanthropic partners: ArtPlace America, Citi Foundation, Deutsche Bank, The New York Community Trust, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

About LISC

With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America—great places to live, work, visit, do business, and raise families. Since 1979, LISC has invested more than $18 billion to build or rehab 376,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 63 million square feet of retail, community, and educational space. In New York, LISC NYC has invested over $2.7 billion, leveraging an additional $6 billion to revitalize communities. This has resulted in nearly 40,000 affordable homes built and preserved, as well as 1.8 million square feet of retail and community space created. To learn more, visit LISC.

About Upstart Co-Lab

Upstart Co-Lab connects impact investing to the creative economy. Since 2016, Upstart has been exploring how the $763 billion creative economy in the U.S. can become more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable. By introducing a Creativity Lens, Upstart Co-Lab helps impact investors who understand the power of art, design, culture, heritage, and creativity see the opportunities that align with their values. To learn more, visit Upstart Co-Lab. 

Find out more about the NYC Inclusive Creative Economy Fund here.

To invest in the fund, inquire here

For Media Inquiries, contact Savi Pannu at Emergence Creative

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