An investment of $2.5 million from Verizon is making it possible for LISC to begin offering critical relief and resiliency-building support to small businesses facing immediate financial threat because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will go to make grants of up to $10,000, especially to entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically under-served places who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. Verizon will highlight and bolster these efforts through their inaugural "Pay It Forward Live" online concert series.
The LISC Lending department has been included for the fifth consecutive year as an ImpactAssets 50 2020 Fund, a who’s-who of fund managers dedicated to creating positive social and environmental impact. This year saw a record number of applications. As a leader in community development financing, LISC received the ranking in light of our $475 million outstanding portfolio balance and a delinquency rate under 2%.
In just one year, LISC’s partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Facebook, the San Francisco Foundation and others has hit its $500 million goal—well ahead of schedule and already making inroads to preserve, produce and protect affordable housing with new loans to mission-driven groups.
LISC and the Walton Family Foundation have announced the first recipients of the Spark Opportunity Grant Program, a $2 million initiative to provide planning grants to support the creation of affordable facilities for schools in Opportunity Zones and other under-resourced communities. Twenty-six high-performing schools will receive the initial round of funding, and a second round is already open to applicants.
Fifth Third Bank hosted an event at LISC’s national headquarters this week to announce $100 million in Opportunity Zone investments and tap LISC”s National Equity Fund (NEF) affiliate as one of its four investment partners. NEF will focus $25 million of Fifth Third’s capital to support housing developments for working families, building on its more than 30 years of investments in affordable housing.