BY KATHERINE NEWMAN
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund recently awarded a $400,000 grant to the Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives.
Micro Finance Group (CNIMFG). The grant money will allow CNIMFG to provide even more small business loans to the greater Chicago area, including businesses in the South Suburbs.
In 2012, CNIMFG was established as a CDFI and began giving small business loans in 2013. CNIMFG is one of only 302 CDFIs in the country that were selected to receive grants from the U.S. Department of Treasury with the purpose of increasing lending and investment in economically distressed communities, according to a press release from the Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives.
“Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, our parent company, is a real estate developer with a mission to revitalize neighborhoods,” said Erika King, vice president of lending for CNIMFG. “Micro Finance Group was really just a natural fit under [Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives] overall mission because without small businesses we could not really create a healthy community. The goal of CNIMFG is to provide resources to underserved businesses in low to moderate income communities, to minority individuals, and to other underserved entrepreneurs.”
The typical CNIMFG borrower is a start up or established small business that normally wouldn’t be a qualified candidate for a large financial institution’s lending program.