Bloomington to Launch Innovative Financing Initiative

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BLOOMINGTON -

Financing for a new initiative to generate small business growth, expand affordable housing and support community facilities is about to kick off in Bloomington. Local funders have pumped in $4 million to finance CDFI Friendly Bloomington. The newly formed 501(c)(3) is the first of its kind in the nation, and will combine local investment opportunities with regional and national investors who specialize in non-traditional financing. 

First Financial Bank, Old National Bank, German American Bank, and Woodforest National Bank plan to use $2 million in senior debt financing for the new initiative. The Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association and the Bloomington Redevelopment Commission also have each made $1 million capital grant commitments. Bank of America has also announced it will lend up to $10 million to CDFIs that collaborate with the new entity.  

“CDFIs can help provide key financial tools in tackling the challenges of affordable housing in Bloomington, while also helping to spur small business growth,” said Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton.  "Bloomington is harnessing the power of national financing to activate and amplify local resources. We deeply appreciate all of the private and public partners whose collaboration has been essential to establishing this creative funding source to improve the well-being of Bloomington residents and businesses.” 

The forming of the new organization comes after 18 months of work and market research, with a goal of facilitating up to $50 million in new loans over the next five years. The six-member Board of Directors, who met for the first time on Monday, will soon conduct a nationwide search for the organization's first Executive Director. They expect to start operations in January and financing projects in April. 

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