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Fund gets grant to target "underserved" small businesses
A federal grant secured by the Community Investment Fund of Indiana (CIFI) helps to build the fund's capacity to seek out and serve Indiana small businesses that may not qualify for bank financing.

The grant is from the U.S. Department of Treasury CDFI Fund. Each year, certified CDFI's from all across the United States compete for funding made available by the CDFI Fund. CIFI loans are intended to reach customers who do not have access to bank financing. Last year, the majority of loans were made to minority-owned businesses or to businesses needing immediate access to a small amount of assistance.

Matt Murphy, Board President of Indiana's CIFI says, "We are a mission-driven lender helping to extend the reach of our banks. Our resources help strengthen our customers' businesses. Together with our customers, we are building better places, one business at a time."

Phil Black, Executive Director says, "The federal grant will offset some of the cost associated with increasing the staff that provides assistance to the businesses that we will make loans to in the coming year. We were one of 41 applicants in the U.S. to be selected by the CDFI Fund for funding this year. The funding is integral to our strategic plans for growth and will give us a leg up in better reaching underserved small business financing needs in Indiana."

As of early 2017, CIFI has loans outstanding of $2.1 million and created or sustained over 100 jobs while providing assistance to over 25 small companies. The majority of CIFI loans are under $50,000 and are called microloans. The rates are competitive. Black says, "Many of the small businesses request technical assistance before the loan application is made and then ongoing after the loan is approved. CIFI customers appreciate combining the capital with a plan they can be successful in implementing."

Black says some CIFI borrowers have already grown to the extent they qualify for bank loans.

Community Investment Fund of Indiana (CIFI) ( provides loans and access to community development services to small businesses, low-income individuals, economic development groups and housing developers in low-and-moderate income areas of Indiana. CIFI is a private non-profit lender funded by banks and other members of the Indiana business community. Banks can get a CRA Credit for investing in CIFI. CIFI has loaned $2.1 million to more than 25 Indiana companies, creating or saving over 100 jobs. CIFI is partnering with Cambridge Capital Management Corp to assist in marketing, underwriting and portfolio servicing.

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