CDFIs and Banks: Addressing the Financing Needs of Small Businesses
The Chicago Fed has had a longstanding interest in the work of community development financial institutions (CDFI) and the evolution of the development finance industry. In this edition of Profitwise News and Views, we provide overviews of two conferences that addressed ways the industry is changing, organizing, and increasing its impact. In Milwaukee, CDFIs from across Wisconsin met in December to consider forming a statewide association, and to hear ideas about shared resources and collaboration from both researchers and practitioners. In Chicago, staff from the Reserve Bank and Board of Governors worked with the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) to stage a small business finance conference one day prior to OFN’s annual Midwest regional meeting, which was also held at the Reserve Bank. Principal topics included aspects of the Small Business Jobs Act passed in fall 2010 and key changes to SBA programs designed to facilitate increased lending to small businesses in redeveloping communities.