NCN Hosts Webinar Featuring Initiate: A Blended Learning Approach to Small Business Technical Assistance by Northern Initiatives

On Thursday, May 19, 2022, NCN hosted Chris Wendel, Program Manager of Initiate, Northern Initiatives’ online portal of small business resources, and Jessa Armstrong, Customer Success Manager of Northern Initiatives. Initiate is an online collection of best practice business resources. With its vetted videos, resources, tools, and templates, Initiate helps both beginning and experienced business owners improve and realize business success. Through a “Blended Learning” of Initiate’s online learning and coaching, business owners have been able to use Initiate to successfully grow their businesses. Click here to learn more about Initiate.

View the session video in its entirety below.

Breaking News: CDFI Fund Opens Application Period for Small Dollar Loan Program Funding

CDFI Fund Opens Application Period for Small Dollar Loan Program Funding – Native CDFIs Encouraged to Apply!

Up to $11.1 Million Available for Loan Loss Reserves and Technical Assistance

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) opened the fiscal year (FY) 2022 funding round for the Small Dollar Loan Program (SDL Program). SDL Program funding is intended to expand consumer access to financial institutions by providing alternatives to high-cost small dollar lending. SDL Program funding is also intended to help unbanked and underbanked populations build credit, access affordable capital, and allow greater access into the mainstream financial system. For this program, small dollar loans are unsecured loans of up to $2,500.

Through the SDL Program, the CDFI Fund provides:

  • Grants for Loan Loss Reserves (LLR): The awards enable a Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) to establish a loan loss reserve fund in order to cover the losses on small dollar loans associated with establishing or maintaining a small dollar loan program.
  • Grants for Technical Assistance (TA): The awards support technology, staff support, and other eligible activities to enable a Certified CDFI to establish and maintain a small dollar loan program.

Up to $11.1 million in awards is available through the FY 2022 round of the program. Certified CDFIs may use these funds individually, or for LLR through a partnership between a Certified CDFI and any Federally Insured Depository Institution with a primary mission to serve targeted Investment Areas, or for TA through a partnership between two or more Certified CDFIs. SDL Program awards may not be used to provide direct loans to consumers.

Please review the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) to learn more about the SDL Program. Additional details on how to apply to the program are available below.

Application Materials

Reference copies of the SDL Program NOFA and all application materials can be found on the SDL Program page on the CDFI Fund’s website.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read and view all application materials, including the NOFA, application guidance, webinars, and presentations.

Required Application Systems

All applicants must be registered and have active accounts in SAM.gov, Grants.gov, and the CDFI Fund’s Awards Management Information System (AMIS) to apply for funding by June 15, 2022, or their application will be considered ineligible. All applicants are also required to have the correct Employer Identification Number (EIN) and Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) attached to the relevant SAM.gov and AMIS accounts by June 15, 2022. As soon as possible, organizations should either create these accounts if they do not exist or confirm that their existing accounts are up to date, in order to avoid potential application submission problems. Detailed information is available in the FY 2022 NOFA for the program.

Timeline

  • Applicants must submit their SF-424 electronically via Grants.gov and create an AMIS account before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on June 15, 2022.
    • SDL Program Grants.gov Funding Number: CDFI-2022-SDL
  • The complete SDL Program Application must be submitted electronically through AMIS before 11:59 p.m. ET on July 15, 2022.
  • The CDFI Fund strongly encourages all materials to be submitted at least three days before each corresponding deadline for Grants.gov and AMIS.
  • The CDFI Fund will not respond to any applicant questions about the SDL Program round after 5:00 p.m. ET on July 13, 2022. Technical support for AMIS will not be available after 5:00 p.m. ET on July 15, 2022.

Please see the NOFA for more information on submitting the SDL Program Application.

Learn About Applying to the Small Dollar Loan Program

The CDFI Fund is conducting two live webinars to inform applicants about the FY 2022 SDL Program Application. Please view the SDL Program webpage for the dates, times, and access information for each webinar. Advance registration is not required to participate in the webinars.

The CDFI Fund also held a pre-application webinar about the SDL Program on April 27, 2022. The recording and presentation from that webinar is also available on the CDFI Fund’s website.

Questions

The CDFI Fund will be answering questions about the FY 2021 SDL Program application until 5:00 p.m. ET on July 13, 2022. Contact the CDFI Fund’s Help Desk by submitting a Service Request through your AMIS account; by e-mail to cdfihelp@cdfi.treas.gov; or by phone to (202) 653-0421 (please note this is not a toll free number).

To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please visit www.cdfifund.gov.

NCN This Week: May 16, 2022

Department of the Interior Releases Investigative Report, Outlines Next Steps in Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative

On Wednesday, May 11, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Bryan Newland released Volume 1 of the investigative report called for as part of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, a comprehensive effort to address the troubled legacy of federal Indian boarding school policies. This report lays the groundwork for the continued work of the Interior Department to address the intergenerational trauma created by historical federal Indian boarding school policies.

As part of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative and in response to recommendations from the report, Secretary Haaland today announced the launch of “The Road to Healing.” This year-long tour will include travel across the country to allow American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian survivors of the federal Indian boarding school system the opportunity to share their stories, help connect communities with trauma-informed support, and facilitate collection of a permanent oral history.

To read Volume 1 of the Report, please click here.

To access support resources provided by The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, please click here.

Upcoming NCN Webinars:

Initiate: A Blended Learning Approach to Technical Assistance by Northern Initiatives

Thursday, May 19, 2:00 p.m. EDT

Chris Wendel and Jessa Armstrong from Northern Initiatives will present Initiate, an online collection of best practice business resources. With its vetted videos, resources, tools, and templates, Initiate helps both beginning and experienced business owners improve and realize business success. Through a “Blended Learning” of Initiate’s online learning and coaching, business owners have been able to use Initiate to successfully grow their businesses. The webinar will feature a tour of the Initiate website and show examples of challenges that entrepreneurs face and how Initiate’s Blended Learning provides relatable solutions.

NCN Institute’s 2022 Sessions Are Now Full!

Registration for NCN’s 2022 Summer Training Series with Jack Northrup has reached capacity. New registrations are no longer being accepted. A video recording will be posted to the NCN website following each session. Registration has ended for the following sessions:

  • June 15 – Small Business Loan Underwriting
  • July 13 – Advanced Cash Flow Projections
  • August 17 – Loan Product Price Pointing/Market Choice

SAVE THE DATE!
NCN Annual Policy and Capacity Building Summit: DECEMBER 6-8, 2022

Native CDFI leaders, staff, and other interested stakeholders are encouraged to save December 6-8, 2022 on their calendars to attend the Native CDFI Network’s 2022 Annual Policy and Capacity Building Summit in Washington, D.C. The Summit will be held at the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) Conference Center near Capitol Hill, with lodging options within close walking distance of the event. The first day (December 6) will feature a capacity-building training for attendees. Stay tuned for more details!

Why is it so important to SAVE THE DATE to attend NCN’s Annual Policy and Capacity Building Summit on December 6-8, 2022! Watch NCN’s new three-minute video to find out! CLICK BELOW!

NCN “Difference Makers” Interview Series:
Tawney Brunsch and Dave Castillo

Last week, the Native CDFI Network released its latest edition of “Native CDFIs: Difference Makers for Indian Country,” an interview with Executive Director Tawney Brunsch of Lakota Funds. To read the interview, please click here.

Coming this Thursday: “Difference Makers” sits down with Dave Castillo, CEO of Native Community Capital (NCC), a federally certified Native CDFI that maintains offices in New Mexico and Arizona.

To read the other interviews in NCN’s “Difference Makers” series, please click here.

CDFI Fund Releases Qualified Equity Investment Report for New Markets Tax Credit Program

Last week, the CDFI Fund at the U.S. Department of the Treasury released its monthly Qualified Equity Investment Report for the New Markets Tax Credit Program for May 2022. To review the Report, please click here.

NCN Hosts Webinar to Discuss CDFI Fund’s Small Dollar Loan Program

On Friday, May 13, 2022, NCN hosted Small Dollar Loan (SDL) Program Manager, Tanya McInnis, and SDL Senior Manager and Program Analyst, Julie Sandler, along with Sequoyah Fund Executive Director Russ Seagle (SDL Program participant). The Program, which provides grants for Loan Loss Reserves and Technical Assistance to enable Certified CDFIs to establish and maintain small dollar loan programs, will accept applications for funding later this spring. The CDFI Fund anticipates that up to $11.1 million will be available for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 application round of the SDL Program.

View the session video in its entirety below.

NCN This Week: May 9, 2022

Upcoming NCN Webinars:

The CDFI Fund’s Small Dollar Loan Program
Friday, May 13, 2:00 p.m. EDT

Join SDL Program Manager Tanya McInnis and Sequoyah Fund Executive Director Russ Seagle as they share about the SDL Program. The Program, which was created to encourage federally certified CDFIs to establish and maintain small-dollar loan programs and provide alternatives to high-cost small dollar loans, will accept applications for funding later this spring. The CDFI Fund anticipates that up to $11.1 million will be available for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 application round of the SDL Program.

Initiate: A Blended Learning Approach to Technical Assistance by Northern Initiatives
Thursday, May 19, 2:00 p.m. EDT

Chris Wendel and Jessa Armstrong from Northern Initiatives will present Initiate, an online collection of best practice business resources. With its vetted videos, resources, tools, and templates, Initiate helps both beginning and experienced business owners improve and realize business success. Through a “Blended Learning” of Initiate’s online learning and coaching, business owners have been able to use Initiate to successfully grow their businesses. The webinar will feature a tour of the Initiate website and show examples of challenges that entrepreneurs face and how Initiate’s Blended Learning provides relatable solutions.

SAVE THE DATE!
NCN Annual Policy and Capacity Building Summit: DECEMBER 6-8, 2022

Native CDFI leaders, staff, and other interested stakeholders are encouraged to save December 6-8, 2022 on their calendars to attend the Native CDFI Network’s 2022 Annual Policy and Capacity Building Summit in Washington, D.C. The Summit will be held at the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) Conference Center near Capitol Hill, with lodging options within close walking distance of the event. The first day (December 6) will feature a capacity-building training for attendees. Stay tuned for more details!

NCN Institute Offering Summer Training Series for Senior Native CDFI Staff

Join the Native CDFI Network (NCN) and Jack Northrup of New England Market Research, Inc., for the NCN Institute, a summer training series for senior-level Native CDFI staff.

These hands-on, skill-building sessions will provide tools and resources you can use to take your CDFI management strategy to the next level. Training will be on Zoom and is free of charge. Enrollment is limited to the first 15 registrants to ensure an interactive learning environment.

Participating organizations that complete all three sessions and submit pre- and post- training questionnaires for each session will be eligible to receive a grant of up to $4,000 to update the organization’s technology system (e.g., updated software, computer, video conferencing subscriptions, etc.). (Limit one grant per organization.)

Dates and training topics include:

  • June 15: Small Business Loan Underwriting
  • July 13: Advanced Cash Flow Projections
  • August 17: Loan Product Price Pointing/Market Choice

All two-hour sessions will be at 2 p.m. EDT. To be eligible for the technology grant, each organization may have one staff member attend all three sessions or three different staff members attend each session separately.

TFederal Government Releases NPR on Community Reinvestment Act; NCN Leadership Quoted in Story on CRA

Last Thursday, the three agencies tasked with regulating lending institutions’ compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977 jointly released their much-anticipatedInteragency CRA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking(NPR) designed to strengthen and modernize the regulations governing the Act. Importantly, the NPR features a section specifically focused on Indian Country titled “Activities in Native Land Areas” (see pages 96-103).

COMMENT PERIOD NOW OPEN: Native CDFIs, tribal governments, and other interested stakeholders have 90 days to submit formal comments on the NPR (submission deadline: August 5, 2022). To review the NPR, the interagency press release, the NPR Fact Sheet, and other materials, please click here

Interagency Webinar to Explain the NPR Scheduled for This Wednesday

The Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency will host an interagency webinar this Wednesday, May 11 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time to provide an overview of the CRA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The webinar is open to the public. To register for the webinar, please click here.

NOTE: The NCN Policy Chair Robin Danner Featured in Tribal Business News article on Community Reinvestment Act NPR

Today, Tribal Business News published an article on the new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Community Reinvestment Act that features excerpts from an interview with Robin Danner, NCN’s Policy Chair. To read the article, please click here.

NCN “Difference Makers” Interview Series:
Jeff Johnson and Tawney Brunsch

Last week, the Native CDFI Network released its latest edition of “Native CDFIs: Difference Makers for Indian Country,” an interview with Jeff Johnson, Interim CEO of the Wisconsin Native Loan Fund. To read the interview, please click here

Coming this Thursday: “Difference Makers” sits down with Tawney Brunsch, Executive Director of Lakota Funds, a federally certified Native CDFI serving the Pine Ridge Reservation and other Native communities in South Dakota.

To read the other interviews in NCN’s “Difference Makers” series, please click here.

Tribal Business News Wraps Up Three-Week Series Highlighting the Role of Native CDFIs in Growing Small Businesses

This week, Tribal Business News wraps up a three-week multimedia reporting project examining the crucial role Native Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) play in supporting small business formation and growth in tribal communities. This special report featured conversations with Native CDFI executives, profiles of Native businesses, and an online interview with an expert on Native American economies. To read the latest stories in the series, please click on the links below:

NCN Hosts Webinar featuring Russ Seagle

On Friday, April 29, 2022, NCN hosted Russ Seagle, Executive Director of The Sequoyah Fund, Inc., located in Cherokee, NC. Seagle shared information about Tactix, a new mobile app and online learning community that offers a space for small business owners to access real-world business education and expand their network in their local community and across the country. He shared information about the features and benefits of Tactix for entrepreneurs and how Native CDFIs can support the business owners they serve through this platform. Click here to learn more about Tactix.

View the session video in its entirety below.