The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) awarded a $1.5 million grant to theMetropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) to increase lending and investment activity in low-income and economically distressed communities.
In total, the U.S. Department of Treasury awarded 196 CDFIs across the country totaling $185.7 million in grants and loans through both its CDFI Program and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program).
“With (this) awards, the CDFI Fund has crossed the $2 billion threshold in collective investments to CDFIs and Native CDFIs through the CDFI and NACA Programs,” said CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan. “This milestone underscores the transformative impact CDFIs are having in low-income, distressed and underserved communities and areas of persistent poverty. In businesses financed, real estate developed, affordable housing constructed and improved access to the financial system, CDFIs are empowering change and revitalization in their communities.”
MEDA president and CEO, Gary Cunningham remarked, “MEDA is very proud to receive this award. It is a highly competitive grant with a rigorous review process. MEDA was one of 158 organizations nationally to receive a CDFI program award from a pool of 457 applicants, and MEDA was one of just six Minnesota-based organizations to receive funding.”
MEDA plans to use the funds to increase lending and provide technical assistance to more minority entrepreneurs in Minnesota. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) also honored MEDA recently as the top performing MBDA business center in the nation for its work in creating or retaining 445 jobs in Minnesota last year. The award was given late last month during the annual MBDA National Training Conference in Denver.
MEDA is a nonprofit organization that serves Minnesota’s minority entrepreneurs by providing one-on-one business consulting, access to capital, and procurement opportunities. Cunningham said since 1971, MEDA has empowered more tahn 20,000 minority entrepreneurs and helped launch more than 500 minority businesses.
To learn more about MEDA, visit www.meda.net or contact Michelle Tran Maryns at (612) 259-6570.