TruFund Receives $1M Grow With Google Small Business Fund Loan, $150K Google.org Grant To Help Small Businesses Recover From COVID-19
Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) has awarded TruFund Financial Services, Inc. a $1M Grow with Google Small Business Fund loan and an unrestricted $150K Google.org-funded grant to help the CDFI support minority- and women-owned businesses
NEW ORLEANS, March 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --TruFund Financial Services, Inc. has received a $1M Grow with Google Small Business Fund loan and a $150K Google.org-funded grant from Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), a leading network for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The loan fund and grant will support TruFund Financial's lending services to minority- and women-owned small businesses in Louisiana.
TruFund Financial Services, Inc. is a 501(C)3 certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) headquartered in New York City with field offices in Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. TruFund's mission is to promote and foster economic development within underserved communities and among disadvantaged populations by providing affordable loan capital to small businesses and nonprofit organizations who have difficulty accessing capital from banks or other conventional lenders.
TruFund operates in all areas of Louisiana and specializes in providing affordable lending options, professional services, and business development training to construction companies, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses throughout the state. As of Jan. 31, 2021, TruFund has awarded over $32 million in small business loans and provided technical support to hundreds of minority- and women-owned small businesses in the state, including small businesses located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
"When my husband and I decided to open our business 15 years ago, we weren't sure where to start, but TruFund Financial supplied us with all the tools and collateral we needed to establish a profitable and sustainable business," said Evelyn Braud, co-owner of G.E.N.T.S' Enterprises, LLC. "TruFund opened the door to funding that wasn't available to us from traditional financial institutions. We also received business management training that helped us develop a solid business plan and prepared us for successful operation. If I meet anyone who needs funding or resources for their business, I always recommend that they call TruFund."
Funding received through the Google Small Business Loan Fund and Google.org grant will help TruFund continue expanding its reach and community impact in Louisiana, particularly in the low- and moderate-income communities that need it most. Google's support will also further TruFund's ability to serve critical COVID-19 pandemic relief resources and funding to Louisiana entrepreneurs.
"The economic uncertainty sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for increased capital to minority- and women-owned small businesses," said Kim Carter Evans, TruFund's Vice President, Director of Corporate Communications and Managing Director - Southeast. "This partnership with Google will help us serve a greater number of small businesses who are desperately seeking capital to sustain their operations and continue serving their communities."
"Our work as a CDFI has been more important than ever throughout the months of the COVID-19 pandemic," said TruFund President and CEO James H. Bason. "The immediate assistance we've been able to provide our Louisiana clients wouldn't be possible without funding made available through opportunities such as the Grow with Google Fund loan and the Opportunity Finance Network's Google.org grant. TruFund is exceedingly grateful to Google and OFN for their commitment to helping small businesses and the communities they serve remain resilient during times of crisis."
CDFIs are lenders with a mission to serve small businesses underserved by mainstream finance and a proven model for moving capital into the most disinvested communities. In March 2020, Google.org made a $5 million grant to OFN to enable OFN's member CDFIs, like TruFund, 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. In total, Google has now committed $170 million in loans and $10 million in Google.org grants. TruFund Financial Services, Inc. is one of a growing list of CDFIs to received Google.org grants or Grow with Google Small Business Fund loans.
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 percent people of color, 85 percent low-income, 26 percent rural, and 48 percent women (OFN Annual Member Survey, 2018). Nationwide, the CDFI industry manages more than $222 billion.
About TruFund Financial Services, Inc.
TruFund Financial Services, Inc. is a wholly independent national nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). TruFund seeks to stimulate economic development in communities that are underserved by traditional banking institutions by providing fair and accessible capital, hands-on technical assistance, and innovative solutions to small businesses and nonprofit organizations.
TruFund was established in 2005 as an organization that advances economic opportunity for people, businesses, and communities in need. TruFund offers more than a loan—it provides an opportunity for underserved small businesses and low-income areas to thrive. Over the past 15 years, TruFund has been instrumental in strengthening low- and moderate-income communities and their minority- and women-owned small businesses. As of Jan. 31, 2021, TruFund has approved approximately $168 million in small business loans to over 2,000 small businesses. It has also helped create and retain more than 12,000 jobs and provided $97.1 million to the Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Program (MWBE).