OFN has formed a new COVID-19 community exclusively for OFN members on the CDFI Connect platform. The new members-only COVID-19 community provides a private space for our CDFI members to exchange information, resources, and more. In addition, a recording of our March 17 COVID-19 webinar is available in the new community.
The March 17 webinar highlighted three specific CDFIs and how they are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few early actions these CDFIs are taking:
- Created an emergency loan fund, which provides loans up to $50,000 at three percent interest with six month deferment of principal and interest
- Providing 90-day deferrals for affected borrowers, and currently modelling the impact of the crisis
- Focusing on "over-communicating in an evolving environment" with both staff and clients
- Modifying existing loan product to allow for faster underwriting
Since the March 17 webinar, we have seen additional CDFIs launch their own initial responses, including the following examples:
- Opportunity Fund and The Silicon Valley Community Foundation have started a Small Business Relief Fund.
- The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has funded a $5 million program for CDFIs to provide pass-through grants to businesses affected by COVID-19.
OFN continues to speak with our members, CDFI funders and investors, and other stakeholders, and we will continue to post updates on CDFI Connect's Open Forum (accessible to both OFN members and non-members) on how CDFIs are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, we're advocating for $1 billion in supplemental funding for the CDFI Fund as part of the emergency spending legislation currently under consideration by Congress.