WASHINGTON, November 10, 2020 / PRNewswire / – Last night on Native CDFI prices honored two Indigenous Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) – Cook Inlet Lending Center in Alaska and Black Hills Community Loan Fund at South Dakota – for their unique approaches to helping Indigenous-owned small businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indigenous communities have suffered a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 disease, with cases among American Indians and Alaska Natives 3.5 times higher than among non-Hispanic whites in 23 states. Indigenous CDFIs were essential resources for these communities during the health and economic crisis.

Rooted in indigenous culture and history, indigenous CDFIs provide access to capital for local businesses, stimulate growth in communities underserved by traditional finance, and provide economic disaster relief.

Launched in 2019, the Native CDFI Awards are a joint initiative of Wells Fargo, Oweesta Corporation, the oldest Indigenous CDFI intermediary, and Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), a national CDFI network, to honor and support Indigenous CDFIs who create opportunities and promote self-sovereignty in the Indian country nationwide.

“Far too many Indigenous communities face barriers accessing capital in the United States. We recognize that this has been even more difficult over the past nine months, as the pandemic and the economic downturn have hit these important communities particularly hard.” , said Nate hurst, president of the Wells Fargo Foundation. “This year’s winners exemplify the ingenuity, creativity and knowledge of Indigenous-led CDFIs, filling capital gaps and uplifting tribal communities, one investment at a time.

Native CDFI 2020 winners:

  • CDFI native catalyst price. The Cook Inlet Lending Center (CILC) serves low to moderate income households who do not have access to affordable financial products and services in the Cook Inlet area. Alaska. For small businesses in Anchorage affected by COVID-19, CILC has developed a Business Stabilization Strategy – Survive-Adapt-Thrive – to help businesses weather the current recession.

    An innovative combination of flexible financial products and support services, Survive-Adapt-Thrive responds to the present moment by providing access to affordable capital that small businesses need immediately and long term. The approach is designed for struggling small businesses that have the potential to recover and thrive and are owned by people of color, women and Alaskan natives.

    CILC will use its $ 100,000 Native Catalyst Award Scholarship for building staff capacity necessary for the successful implementation of its strategy.

  • CDFI native seed capital price – The Black Hills Community Loan Fund (BHCLF) creates financial opportunities for economically disadvantaged families who wish to strengthen their financial future in the Black Hills region. BHCLF will use its $ 25,000 Native CDFI Seed Capital Award for supporting artists Lakota, Dakota and Nakota during this unprecedented time.

    Due to the pandemic, tribal artists cannot sell their products in usual places like art festivals, powwows and museums. BHCLF is collaborating with Native Pop, a local non-profit Indigenous arts market and cultural celebration, to help Black Hills artists modify their business plans to meet current social distancing needs. With its grant, BHCLF will purchase equipment and consulting services to help artists redevelop their marketing plans and create new websites.

CILC and BHCLF received the awards last night at OFN Annual Conference, held virtually this year.

“Indigenous CDFIs are essential in creating platforms of opportunity with their fundraising efforts,” said Chrystel Corneille, President and CEO, Oweesta Corporation. “We are honored to celebrate the Black Hills Community Loan Fund and the Cook Inlet Lending Center with these well-deserved awards. “

Led and led by tribal members, this year’s winners are two of more than 70 indigenous CDFIs nationwide offering a wide range of financial services and products that create individual assets and community wealth in the country. Indian.

“My sincere congratulations and gratitude to the Cook Inlet Lending Center and the Black Hills Community Loan Fund for their lending skills and ability to nurture resilient and innovative Indigenous communities,” said Lisa mensah, President and Chief Executive Officer of the OFN.

About Native CDFI Awards Partners

well Fargo
well Fargo & Company is a diverse, community-based financial services company with $ 1.92 trillion in assets. well Fargo Our vision is to meet the financial needs of our clients and help them achieve financial success. Founded in 1852 and based in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial credit, through 7,200 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking services , and has offices in 31 countries and territories to support clients doing business in the global economy. well Fargo serves one in three households in United States. well Fargo & Company was ranked # 30 in the Fortune 2020 ranking of America’s Largest Companies. Wells Fargo news, ideas and insights are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Oweesta Company
Oweesta Corporation is a national intermediary for Indigenous Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that focuses exclusively on providing financial products and development services to indigenous CDFIs and tribal communities. Specifically, Oweesta provides training, technical assistance, investment and research to help indigenous communities develop an integrated range of asset creation products and services. Although his 20-year tenure invested in indigenous CDFIs, Oweesta turned $ 77 million dollars to Aboriginal communities with its fundraising efforts, the creation of 1,422 small businesses, 4,313 new jobs and the financing of 153 new housing units. To learn more about Oweesta, visit www.oweesta.org.

About OFN
Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the national network of community development finance institutions (CDFI), works to ensure that low-income and other underfunded communities have access to affordable and responsible financial products and services. OFN members are CDFIs that provide responsible loans to help low-income communities join the mainstream economy. Until 2018, the OFN network was born $ 74.2 billion in funding in rural, urban and Aboriginal communities. This funding has made it possible to create or maintain more than 1,560,000 jobs, start or expand more than 419,177 businesses and microenterprises, and support the development or rehabilitation of 2.1 million housing units and over 11,500 community equipment projects.

SOURCE Opportunity Funding Network

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