Minneapolis (PRESS RELEASE – August 21, 2011) – To save money and improve operational efficiency, Minnesota businesses are thinking “green.” Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF), a nonprofit organization that helps small businesses gain access to capital, has launched the Green Loan for Businesses; a pilot loan program for small businesses in Minnesota seeking to reduce energy costs and achieve their sustainability goals.
The program targets business owners who want to make significant energy-saving improvements to their business facilities, allowing them to finance real estate and equipment upgrades or improvements. Unlike other initiatives, which can involve complicated applications or reporting requirements, the pilot program is a simple solution for business owners who need between $50,000 and $300,000 for green investments.
To fund the program, CRF received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Minnesota Department of Commerce through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
“Providing funding for energy financing and ‘green-dollar’ jobs strengthens Minnesota’s small businesses and gives them the resources to operate in an eco-friendly manner,” said Commissioner Mike Rothman of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, “and we are proud to work with CRF.”
“After more than 20 years of serving the capital needs of small businesses, CRF and its partners are uniquely suited to meet the growing demand for green building loans that will help spur development in communities throughout Minnesota,” said Frank Altman, president and chief executive officer of CRF.
CRF, a nonprofit organization and certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), is the nation’s leader in bringing capital to public and private, nonprofit community development lenders through the secondary market for community development loans. Formed in 1988, CRF has injected more than $1 billion into low-income and economically disadvantaged communities around the country to help stimulate job creation and economic development, provide affordable housing, and support community facilities. CRF is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn.