Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) has awarded CommunityWorks a $500,000 Grow with Google Small Business Fund loan and an unrestricted $250,000 Google.org-funded grant to help support minority and women-owned businesses
Today, CommunityWorks announced it has received a $500,000 Grow with Google Small Business Fund investment and a $250,000 Google.org-funded grant from Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), a leading network for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). These investments will help CommunityWorks support minority-owned small businesses throughout South Carolina.
Funding will support CommunityWorks’ mission of building brighter futures for under-resourced families and communities with a focus on communities and people of color. Our programs include small and micro business lending, affordable housing and community lending, downpayment assistance lending and financial and business coaching.. 63 percent of our clients are African American and 68 percent are women. OFN and Google’s commitment will allow us to better serve communities that have been traditionally underserved and underrepresented by traditional financial institutions.
In March 2020, Google.org made a $5 million grant to OFN to enable OFN’s CDFI members, like CommunityWorks, to improve access to capital for the most marginalized communities. Grant funding will support small business loan capital loan loss reserve, capacity building, financial coaching and operations.
The Grow with Google Small Business Fund, is targeted to support financing for CDFIs that are helping with short-term recovery and long-term financing needs of America’s small businesses hardest hit by COVID-19.
In June 2020, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced an additional $45 million in loans for the Fund to assist Black-owned small businesses and $5 million more in Google.org grants. In total, Google has now committed $170 million in loans and $10 million in Google.org grants. CommunityWorks is one of a growing list of CDFIs to received Google.org grants or Grow with Google Small Business Fund loans.
“CommunityWorks has been a part of the OFN family for many years, we are grateful our longtime partnership, and excited for this expanded relationship with OFN and Google,” said Tammie Hoy Hawkins, CEO of CommunityWorks. “The Grow with Google Small Business Fund and Google.org grant will support our clients and help us reach more small businesses in a time when they need it most.”
There are more than 1,100 CDFIs working in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. OFN’s more than 300 members serve 58% people of color, 85% low-income, 26% rural, and 48% women (OFN Annual Member Survey, 2018). Nationwide, the CDFI industry manages more than $222 billion.