Lender helps save 500,000 jobs in underserved communities during COVID-19

Lender helps save 500,000 jobs in underserved communities during COVID-19

Owner of black-owned cafe smiling

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic recession weren’t what anyone saw coming at the start of 2020. But when it did hit, we weren’t surprised that some of the clients we partner with, like Connect2Capital (C2C), stepped up to help their communities in major ways. 

Powered by Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF), Connect2Capital is a first-of-its-kind platform that connects mission-driven lenders with small businesses that are unable to secure traditional financing.

“Our team has been working around the clock, and we’ve brought on about 25 contract underwriters and loan ops personnel to keep up with demand,” said Patrick Davis, Vice President of Program Strategy and Development at CRF. 

Connect2Capital actively supports economic growth in underserved communities by matching loans for businesses that are often unable to qualify for traditional financing. They also provide resources, education, and support to small businesses looking to rebuild financial wellness and qualify for traditional banking products in the future. 

CSTMR partners with fintech and financial brands just as mission-driven and customer-obsessed as we are, which is why we jumped at the chance to work with Connect2Capital in June 2019. Now, one year later, we’re proud of how CRF’s Connect2Capital helped thousands of small businesses and nonprofits navigate the COVID-19 economic crisis.

The infrastructure we’ve built over the past several years has been enormously effective in helping us respond to the crisis via our national network of small business lenders,” said Davis. 

Because of CRF: 

  • More than $5 billion in SBA PPP loans were deployed or facilitated by CRF’s software platforms (Connect2Capital & SPARK) and direct lending efforts.
  • 17,000 small businesses and nonprofits received PPP loans through CRF’s software platforms and direct lending efforts.
  • 500,000 jobs were retained as a direct result of these loans.

According to Davis, CRF has done two times its entire 31 years of historical deployment in just three weeks. 

Here are five of the small businesses and nonprofits that accessed financing through Connect2Capital during the COVID-19 crisis.

5 Small Businesses Helped by Connect2Capital During the COVID-19 Crisis

  1. Equal Access International helps communities around the world drive sustainable transformative change through participatory media, tech, and outreach models. These community-created platforms elevate marginalized voices and build locally-led movements that shift power, inspire change, and promote positive solutions to social issues.
  2. Forget Me Not Farm has helped thousands of at-risk children and youth break the cycle of abuse. The program offers animal-assisted and horticultural therapeutic activities that provide a haven for abused children. 
  3. Casa Teresa is a home providing pregnant women in crisis a loving place to support their healing journey to break cycles, transform women, and help families thrive.
  4. Career Girls is a platform that gives young girls useful methods for attaining their professional dreams and goals. They use video, mentorship, interviews, and educational materials to help propel young girls on their career journeys.
  5. A Home Within creates and supports long-lasting, caring relationships, and is dedicated to enhancing the emotional well-being of the foster-care community.

What’s Next?

While we can’t predict what will happen next or how it will impact economic recovery, CSTMR is committed to partnering with more companies like Connect2Capital. 

Here’s why:

“There is just absolutely no way we could have done this without the tech tools we have,” said Davis. “We thank CSTMR for the amazing work they’ve done helping us build and grow our platforms over the past year.” 

Watch the latest Fintech Shares roundtable discussion on-demand to learn more about the state of lending due to COVID-19, and hear directly from CRF Vice President of Program Strategy and Development, Patrick Davis. 

Rory Holland

Rory Holland

Rory Holland is CEO and Co-Founder of CSTMR. For more than 20 years, he has made it his passion to help Fintech and financial companies leverage digital marketing and advertising to drive growth.

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