Today, Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) announced that Pacific Community Ventures (PCV) was one of six CDFIs in the first round of CDFIs to receive grants from Google.org. The grant will help PCV better serve minority-owned small businesses.
Pacific Community Ventures helps small business owners grow and create good local jobs through a “Good Jobs, Good Business” model that combines affordable loans with pro-bono advising, tools and incentives to create good jobs, our national BusinessAdvising.org mentoring platform, and social impact evaluation and field building research. We have a special focus on serving black and brown-owned businesses in the Bay Area, and since the onset of the COVID pandemic, demand for their fair and affordable loans has jumped 1,500%.
In March, Google.org made a $5 million grant to OFN to enable OFN’s member CDFIs to improve access to capital for the most marginalized communities. The unrestricted grants can support operations, loan capital, loan loss reserve, capacity building, or any other purpose.
At the same time, OFN and Google announced the Grow with Google Small Business Fund, which delivers financing to CDFIs, like MoFi, that are supporting the short-term recovery and long-term financing needs of America’s small businesses hardest hit by COVID-19.
On June 17, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced the company will provide to OFN an additional $45 million in loans to the Fund’s original $125 million to assist Black-owned small businesses and $5 million more in Google.org grants. In total, Google has now committed $170 million in loans and $10 million in Google.org grants.
“Small Businesses will need patient working capital now more than ever, especially those owned by black and brown entrepreneurs,” said Bulbul Gupta, President and CEO of Pacific Community Ventures. “The pandemic and recent racial injustices have aimed a spotlight on the health and safety of working people and already disenfranchised communities. A good jobs agenda is essential to prioritize employee health alongside business health, to shape a more equitable recovery. Jobs that are good for workers and good for business owners is the very point of PCV’s Good Jobs, Good Business model.”
The other first round awardees are Citizens Potawatomi Community Development Corporation; Grameen America; Opportunity Fund; PeopleFund; and Washington Area Community Investment Fund.
“CDFIs are America’s best community lenders with 40 years of experience providing capital where mainstream finance can’t or won’t — today, CDFIs are vital to ensuring a more even recovery for America’s small businesses,” said Lisa Mensah, president and CEO of OFN, a leading national network of CDFIs. “We applaud Google for stepping in to help bridge deep gaps in access to capital for minority and women-led small businesses. Google’s significant investment and grant helps CDFIs to combat economic inequity during a national health and economic crisis that has been recently compounded by civil unrest.”
“The Grow with Google Small Business Fund and Google.org grants are some of the key investments that Google is making in the future of America’s small businesses. Our economy requires that small businesses prosper,” said Ruth Porat, CFO of Google. “The COVID crisis has created unprecedented challenges for many small businesses, and we are committed to assisting them. We’re proud to have an outstanding partner in OFN to provide loans and grants to CDFIs who are on the front lines of the economic recovery effort.”
There are more than 1,100 CDFIs working in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. OFN’s more than 300 members serve 58% people of color, 85% low-income, 26% rural, and 48% women (OFN Annual Member Survey, 2018). Nationwide, the CDFI industry manages more than $222 billion.