The Loan Fund, a nonprofit community lender that provides affordable credit and capacity building to small businesses, business startups, and nonprofits throughout New Mexico was awarded a $200,000 grant from the Kresge and Surdna Foundations to support a partnership with the Keshet Ideas and Innovation Center, to grow the entrepreneurial arts and creative community in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The Loan Fund was one of seven community lenders from across the country to receive a grant from the foundations out of over 40 applicants.
The Loan Fund is a community development financial institution (CDFI) that provides loans coupled with training and consulting services to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits across New Mexico. The Loan Fund particularly focuses its services towards underserved markets.
“Artists are an important component of New Mexico’s economy; however, business credit is often difficult for these entrepreneurs to obtain. The Loan Fund has a history of helping artists and art-focused nonprofits. This project will allow us to reach and assist additional artistic and creative entrepreneurs who want to start or grow their businesses,” said Leroy Pacheco, President/CEO of The Loan Fund.
The Load Fund is partnering with the Keshet Ideas and Innovation Center (KIIC). KIIC will introduce arts entrepreneurs to The Loan Fund as a funding resource and together they will collaborate to present relevant educational opportunities to build the capacity of arts businesses.
The joint Kresge-Surdna initiative, called Catalyzing Culture and Community through CDFIs, or C4, is intended to help support and expand CDFIs’ involvement in integrating arts and culture into local revitalization work, an approach to community development known as creative placemaking.
“CDFIs can play an important role in helping artists, arts and culture organizations, and non-arts organizations create jobs, attract investments, generate tax revenues, and stimulate local economies,” said Phillip Henderson, president of the Surdna Foundation. “However, the contributions of projects like The Loan Fund’s collaboration with the Keshet Ideas and Innovation Center extend far beyond the economy—they help to make our communities healthier, more equitable and sustainable.”
The foundation funding allows the lenders to experiment with projects they might not have considered otherwise. “It provides risk capital,” said Rip Rapson, the Kresge Foundation’s president and CEO. “We’re very pleased that The Loan Fund, working with the Keshet Ideas and Innovation Center, is open to exploring the ways that investment in arts culture and creative enterprises and might meet their mission.”
For more information, please contact George Kenefic at 505-243-3196 ext. 105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Loan Fund
The New Mexico Community Development Loan Fund (dba the Loan Fund) is a nonprofit community lender that provides loans and lines of credit to small businesses, business startups, and nonprofits throughout New Mexico that are typically unable to obtain financing through traditional lending sources. The Loan Fund also provides clients with technical assistance. The Loan Fund is one of 11 U.S. Treasury Department certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) in New Mexico.
The Loan Fund was founded by the New Mexico Conference of Churches (along with the Storehouse, Samaritan Counseling Services, Habitat for Humanity, Encino Houses, and Second Harvest), under the guidance of a special task force that was created in 1987 to address the state’s systemic problem of poverty. At the time, New Mexico was number one nationally in poverty and today the state is number two. The task force concluded that entrepreneurship and self-employment opportunities were vital to the state, and that increasing access to affordable business loans in underserved and low and moderate income communities would be a viable economic development tool to combat poverty.
The Loan Fund was founded in 1989 and has made over $58 million in loans that have created or preserved over 7,600 jobs for New Mexico!
About Keshet Ideas and Innovation Center (KIIC
Housed at the new Keshet Center for the Arts, the Keshet Ideas and Innovation Center (KIIC) is New Mexico's first and only business incubator and resource center focusing on arts entrepreneurs. KIIC was created with support from the Federal Economic Development Administration and the Bernalillo County Economic Development Department to expand and enhance strong business foundations for the many dynamic artists and arts organizations in the State of New Mexico.
The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs released its commissioned report quantifying the economic impact of the arts and culture industries in the state at $5.6 billion annually. In addition, one in ten jobs in New Mexico is in the arts and culture industries. Yet there has been limited support for arts entrepreneurs within our community. The Keshet Ideas and Innovation Center has been established to provide business development support to our vibrant arts community through training workshops, peer support, networking opportunities, and access to office, rehearsal and performance space for the performing and media arts community.
About The Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation is a $3 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development efforts in Detroit. In 2013, the Board of Trustees approved 316 awards totaling $122 million; $128 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. In addition, its Social Investment Practice made commitments totaling $17.7 million in 2013.
About The Surdna Foundation
The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States -- communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. For over five generations, the Foundation has been governed largely by descendants of John Andrus and has developed a tradition of innovative service for those in need of help or opportunity.