Community Development Financial Institution Assistance Program

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What is the Community Development Financial  Institution Assistance Program?

Since the program's launch in 1997, Empire State Development (ESD) has awarded more than $25 million in grants to federally certified community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to strengthen their small business lending and technical assistance services. Every year, these CDFIs help thousands of minority- and women-owned businesses and small businesses survive and flourish in New York State.

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The Community Development Financial Institution Assistance Program bolsters institutions providing microloans to small businesses that often do not qualify for bank loans, as well as provide one-on-one counseling and business development assistance to facilitate credit readiness.

The Program provides grant support to CDFIs in New York State for loan capital, the provision of technical assistance, institutional capacity, and loan loss reserves.  

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How to Apply

ESD issues a request for proposal (RFP) and considers a number of factors when considering making grants to CDFIs, including:

  • Applicant must be certified by the United States Department of Treasury as a CDFI
  • Applicant must have as a primary focus of its activities the provision of financial services for small businesses in New York State, including:
    • Track record and volume of small business lending
    • Performance under previous program grants
    • Institutional capacity and need
    • Merits of the proposed project

In order to ensure your organization is notified about the RFP for the CDFI Assistance Program, register with the New York State Contract Reporter.

(Note:  Not-for-profit organizations should create a "Government Entity Account")