Small Business Programs

We build funds to support the big dreams of small businesses

Addressing credit gaps across the US

In collaboration with our partners, we have structured several small business recovery funds to support community-based businesses across the US. These programs bring together state and local governments, banks, corporations, foundations, and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to scale affordable lending. Throughout the pandemic, CDFIs have been a financial lifeline for small businesses and nonprofits, especially those owned by people of color and women or that operate in low-income communities. The recovery funds provide crucial financing to small businesses.

Access to affordable credit is key to creating an inclusive, diverse, and more equitable economy.

To learn more, click on the individual fund pages below. Please note that all recovery fund opportunities are currently limited to institutional lenders.

New York Forward Loan Fund

California Rebuilding Fund

Southern Opportunity and Resilience (SOAR) Fund

Washington State's Small Business Flex Fund

Connecticut Small Business Boost Fund

ECA SOAR Earl Cooper, owner and founder of Everyone Can Achieve (ECA), is using his recovery loan to grow his business, with the goal of purchasing additional vehicles to transport employees to job sites. Earl employs 14 full-time and 41 part-time employees.

“We hire and train formerly incarcerated people and pay them a living wage. We have really helped returning citizens change their lives.” – Earl Cooper, Founder of ECA, Wilmington, Delaware

Who We Are Serving

90% of businesses funded have 10 or fewer employees

88% of businesses funded have annual gross revenues of $1 million or less

65% of businesses funded are owned by a woman and/or Black, Indigenous, or person of color

40% of businesses funded are located in low- or moderate-income communities

CIC SmallBizRec USmap

Experience to date

With our partners, we have expanded the recovery funds to serve businesses across 18 states and Washington, DC. As of September 2021, we have raised over $335 million in commitments from a wide variety of lenders and funders. The participating CDFIs have disbursed nearly 2,500 loans to small business borrowers including restaurants, early childhood centers, retail stores, health service providers, local produce farms, arts and cultural centers, and florists.

Participating CDFIs

3core logo
access + capital logo
Accessity logo
Accion Opportunity Fund logo
ACE logo
Ascendus logo
BBIF logo
Business Impact NW logo
Small Business Finance logo
Communities Unlimited logo
cpc logo
Craft logo
Evergreen Business Capital logo
ICA logo
LiftFund logo
Main Street Launch logo
meda logo
NAAC logo
NDC logo
pace logo
Pacific Community Ventures logo
Partner Community Capital logo
Pathway Lending logo
People Fund logo
Pursuit logo
Southern Bancorp logo
TruFund logo
Working Solutions logo

Frequently Asked Questions

The Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) industry has operated for more than 40 years to provide access to financial services in under-resourced communities across the country. There are nearly 1,200 CDFIs across the U.S. that provide a variety of products and services to address structural gaps in our financial system. The CDFIs involved in the Small Business Recovery Funds serve small businesses and nonprofits with affordable, flexible capital and advisory services. CDFIs receive certification from the U.S. Treasury Department and are mandated to make at least 60 percent of their investments in designated low-income communities.

Every CDFI participating in the recovery funds programs is a certified, CDFI loan fund (or a non-depositary financial institution). They provide flexible, market-driven products and services that small business owners need to grow and thrive.

In these programs, the participating CDFIs are the community lenders that provide business advisory support and loans to small businesses in their communities. As mission driven lenders, they prioritize helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses and enable local economic development through job creation, income generation, and wealth building opportunities.

The recovery funds are centralized loan purchase facilities capitalized by public, private and philanthropic lenders that increase CDFI small business lending capacity by leveraging their balance sheets. For every $1 of a CDFI’s available funds, this program enables them to offer $20 of loan capital to a small business.

The model combines affordable loan capital, a technology platform to support loan originations, and technical assistance for business owners applying for credit. This holistic approach is designed to build local CDFI capacity so that community lenders can do what they do best in reaching more small businesses in underbanked communities.

The participating CDFIs lead the programs through loan originations and direct support to small businesses seeking advisory and affordable loan capital. We have nearly 30 CDFIs originating loans across programs.

Calvert Impact Capital is the arranger of the funds, focusing on structuring the financial vehicles and coordinating participation across CDFIs, investors, and partner non-profit organizations. Calvert Impact Capital is not a lender in the funds.

Community Reinvestment Fund (CRF), a national CDFI, built and runs the online marketplace, Connect2Capital, that is used to connect small businesses seeking capital with the participating CDFIs.

Kiva, LISC Fund Management, and National Development Council act as fund managers and administrators.

Banks, corporations, private foundations, family offices, public sector partners, and other mission-driven institutional lenders participate as lenders and donors in the funds.

This model aims to expand access to affordable credit and business support for the smallest of small businesses and community-based nonprofits. The programs focus on serving underbanked businesses and organizations with 50 or fewer FTE, gross revenues of less than $5 million a year, and those that have experienced a disruption as a result of COVID-19. To be eligible for a loan, the business or organization must operate in one of the 18 states served.

For more information on the small business loan terms and eligibility, please visit the Connect2Capital websites: