Community development financial institutions finance dreams. These community-based financiers work every day to provide individuals, families, and neighborhoods with the access to critical capital and resources to join the economic mainstream. Opening Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack was a lifelong goal for Emily Kaplan. The entrepreneur opened the San Francisco eatery after years of working in the restaurant industry. After 13 years in business, Emily felt the pressures of the real estate boom in San Francisco and struggled to secure a lease and keep her business open. Her loan applications were consistently denied despite illustrating a positive financial history. 

On the verge of losing her business, Emily was referred to Main Street Launch (formerly OBDC) through Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, and the loan she received allowed her to finalize a new lease. With a lease secured, Emily was able to refocus on running her restaurant in a new location that came with a bigger kitchen which allowed her to expand her menu and serve more customers. Emily said, “The timing and importance of this loan was critical for me. Without Main Street Launch I would simply not be in business.”

CDFIs are private, mission-driven financial institutions dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable capital to disinvested communities. They leverage funding from private and public sources, including the Department of Treasury's CDFI Fund, to create opportunity in communities across the country. These community-based organizations are uniquely positioned to deliver vital capital where it can have the  most impact. 

CDFIs spur economic growth and job creation by investing in community development initiatives like affordable housing, small businesses, charter schools, and community health centers. In addition to financing, CDFIs also provide technical assistance and help build capacity. 

As the leading national network of CDFIs, OFN partners with funders, government, corporations, and banks to provide financial and technical resources to its more than 250 Members to fuel social change in neighborhoods across the country and encourage reliable returns for investors. In an evolving marketplace, OFN is committed to working with CDFIs to use new technologies and capitalization models to keep making dreams come true.

 

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