Southern Opportunity and Resilience (SOAR) Fund Announcement
March 03, 2021
Calvert Impact Capital is excited to join a network of national and local community lenders to announce the Southern Opportunity and Resilience (SOAR) Fund, which aims to raise $150 million to support the recovery of small businesses and nonprofits through access to flexible, affordable capital and free business support services across 15 southern states. We are proud to serve as the lead arranger for the Fund.
SOAR Fund replicates similar recovery fund models that have succeeded in New York and California by working with and through local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). Thirteen CDFIs will originate loans purchased by the Fund, including Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE), Accion Opportunity Fund, Ascendus, BCL of Texas, Black Business Investment Fund, Communities Unlimited, LiftFund, NCIFund, NDC's Community Investment Loan Fund, Pathway Lending, People Fund, Southern Bancorp Community Partners, and TruFund Financial Services. The loans are designed to reach the smallest of small businesses and those that have been historically underbanked – the type of businesses that this coalition of CDFI lenders have been serving for decades. These businesses are critical to providing jobs and supporting economic recovery in communities across the South, but often struggle to access capital from traditional sources.
The application portal for small businesses is scheduled to open in April and will offer flexible, affordable loans of up to $100,000 to small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 50 full-time employees. Interested small business owners and nonprofits can review program eligibility, product terms and register their interest at www.TheSoarFund.org, which will notify business owners once the application portal is live. When the Fund opens, applicants can sign up online and get matched to a lender in that will assist the business owner with the application and provide advisory support.
The SOAR Fund covers: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.