Community First Fund is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). To help them align capital with social justice, the Truist Foundation announced a $2.25 million commitment.
The grant will help launch Community First Fund’s Economic Justice Fund (EJFund). EJFund will support lending activities to minority entrepreneurs, with an emphasis on Black and Latine small business owners. Community First Fund’s will be focusing its service footprint in eastern and central Pennsylvania, including in the Greater Philadelphia region.
Community First Fund will grow this fund to $50 million over the next five years
Truist Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers and President of Truist Foundation Lynette Bell joined Community First Fund’s Senior Executive Vice President Joan M. Brodhead, Chair, Board of Directors, Jonathan Bowser, and Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer Dragan Dodik, to formally announce the grant and discuss the future of Community First Fund’s EJFund.
“The Truist Foundation supports intermediaries. Truist provides capital at favorable rates and terms for small business owners and individuals in historically excluded communities,” said Bell. “The work of Community First Fund provides essential financial and technical assistance. It helps diverse entrepreneurs scale their businesses across Greater Philadelphia.”
The partnership of Community First Fund and Truist
Community First Fund’s work is to create financial equity through wealth-building opportunities, which embodies Truist’s commitment to the diverse communities it serves. The $2.25 million grant is part of Truist’s recent $120 million commitment. The initiative is meant to strengthen and support small businesses nationally, with a focus on women and diverse business owners.
The work of Community First Fund is centered around creating sustainable prosperity for communities and individuals. It provides loans and investments to small businesses. In addition, it also provides real estate financing to non-profit developers and entrepreneurs for commercial and affordable housing projects.
“The Truist Foundation grant of $2.25 million helps us close the opportunity gap. We assist small business owners and entrepreneurs to start, grow and expand their businesses. It helps create jobs, advance economic mobility and increase financial stability,” said Community First Fund President and CEO Daniel Betancourt.y
Truist’s commitment to Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia region goes beyond its partnership with Community First Fund. Truist contributed over half a million dollars in grants. In addition, its employees completed 4,434 volunteer hours in the Philadelphia region in 2021.
“This grant and partnership with Community First Fund underscores our commitment to supporting entrepreneurs throughout Pennsylvania,” said Travis Rhodes, Delaware Valley and Lehigh Valley regional president for Truist. “Small businesses are the bedrock of Philadelphia’s economy. The work of Community First Fund is creating opportunities for more individuals while supporting employees, families and neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.”
About Truist Foundation
The Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s ( NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. The Truist Foundation’s grants and activities focus on building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses. Learn more at Truist.com/Purpose/Truist-Foundation.
About Community First Fund
Community First Fund is a private, independent non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Its mission is to provide capital in places where it is not usually available. They seek to create positive change in the community by providing entrepreneurs, commercial real estate and affordable housing developers as well as nonprofits with access to loans for projects that generate jobs, create housing opportunities, essential community facilities, and help to revitalize communities. For more information, visit www.communityfirstfund.org.
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