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CFL kicks off commitment to equitable economic development with $500,000 loan to LHOME

In acknowledgement of longstanding racial and economic inequities in the Louisville area, the Community Foundation of Louisville has announced that its CFL Impact Capital fund will exclusively support equitable economic development efforts through investments in affordable housing, Black-owned and other underserved small businesses and entrepreneurs, and community facilities in underinvested neighborhoods.

The Foundation kicked off its newest round of investments on Aug. 13 by launching a $500,000 loan for LHOME, (Louisville Housing and Opportunities Micro-Enterprise Community Development Loan Fund Inc.), a nonprofit financial institution that provides affordable loan products and financial coaching services to low-income small business owners, renters and homeowners.

Mary Grissom

The loan will make funds available to increase financial access and stability for LHOME clients who are predominantly Black and are living or working in Louisville’s South and West End — neighborhoods with long histories of redlining and scarce affordable, accessible lending. It represents CFL’s second loan to LHOME and its largest impact investment in Louisville to date.

The Community Foundation has made more than $2.6 million in loans through the CFL Impact Capital fund since 2014, all funded by the Foundation and its donors. The loans are invested in high-impact projects that create positive social impact alongside financial returns. Unlike grants, CFL Impact Capital loans are intended to be repaid. Upon maturity and full repayment, the principal and interest are returned to a donor’s fund at the Foundation.

“Our vision is a community where people and place thrive, but we know not all people and places in our community are thriving,” said Mary Grissom, CFL’s Senior Program Officer. “While we have long held the values of equity and inclusion and made important contributions to address the underlying conditions that fuel deep racial and economic inequity in our city, the reality is – it’s not enough. Because the Foundation is committed to meaningful action, we plan to deploy every tool in our philanthropic toolbox for a more equitable Louisville.

“Loans through CFL Impact Capital are a unique way to move capital where it is needed most. This is an innovative opportunity for current and new donors to put their tax-deductible philanthropic dollars to work to help end racial and economic injustice.”

The Foundation is seeking donors to help fund the LHOME loan. The deadline for donor participation is Sept. 13. Current CFL donors may designate a portion of their CFL fund, or they may make a new gift to their fund to provide a portion of the loan capital. New donors to CFL are also welcome. For more information about participating in this or future loans, visit www.cflouisville.org.

The CFL Impact Capital loan will be extended to LHOME in mid-September, once the funding period ends. The funds will allow LHOME to further expand its loan portfolio and increase financial access and stability for low- and moderate-income individuals, families and businesses who are currently underserved. To apply for loan assistance, visit www.lhomeky.org.

From Community Foundation of Louisville

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