In collaboration with City of Chicago, the Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives launched a small business micro-lending program in October 2012. Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Micro Finance Group (CNIMFG) focuses on low to moderate income neighborhoods throughout Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. CNIMFG has provided nearly 40 businesses with $500,000 in microloans within the first two and a half years of operations, with 80% of these loans being deployed to African-Americans and 47% to women small business owners.
CNIMFG reaches deeply into historically challenged communities to help small business owners grow and thrive. According to the American Community Survey, each of the communities CNIMFG serves has a median income less than 60% of the state average and poverty rates above 20%. However, CNIMFG focuses on these communities to provide area businesses with the financial services necessary to increase income and improve credit history.