CNote has deployed over $100 million dollars into financially underserved communities across America–a significant milestone for investments and deposits in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), low-income designated credit unions, and other mission-aligned partners that previously were difficult for investors to access.
By making it easier for everyone from retail to institutional investors to invest in these institutions’ communities, CNote expands the pool of capital available to low-income, BIPOC, and underserved communities. That means more money to help individuals build credit and purchase their first car or home, provide capital and coaching to small business owners, finance affordable housing development, and make communities more economically resilient.
This access has been critical in the wake of COVID-19 and the movement for racial justice sparked by the murder of George Floyd. These events highlighted stark inequities in the United States. Corporations and institutional investors have risen to the challenge of supporting historically marginalized communities by investing to advance racial and social justice and further economic development.
This interest has started a new chapter for CDFIs and credit unions, CNote’s primary partners, which have seen investments from large corporations including Netflix, PayPal, Mastercard, and Google. Additionally, the White House recently announced a federal award of $1.25 Billion to CDFIs to help speed the economic recovery from COVID-19.
Capital that is invested or deposited into these community financial organizations supports entrepreneurs like Tanesha Sims-Summers, founder of Naughty but Nice Kettle Corn, a family-owned and -run kettle corn company based in Birmingham, Alabama. Tanesha received a loan from CNote CDFI partner TruFund in 2019 to complete the renovation of her food truck and provide some extra cushion for other expenses. “As entrepreneurs, we have to be intentional about utilizing services and asking for help, and TruFund is here to help us make changes to our businesses that impact our bottom lines and that align with our community investment goals,” Tanesha said.
“While CNote is incredibly proud to have reached this milestone, the real success metric is seeing this money deployed into underserved communities. There it can build wealth and drive fundamental and enduring change,” said CNote CEO Catherine Berman.
“Our work is far from over,” she continued. “The data shows that economic recovery from COVID has not been equal, and that job losses continue for low-wage workers. The work of our credit union and CDFI partners is more important than ever, and we will continually innovate to support underserved communities and drive hundreds of millions in new capital investment for years to come.”