Charter Communications has created a loan fund to invest some $10 million through 2021 to aid small businesses serving underserved communities within the Stamford company’s 41-state operating footprint
The Spectrum Community Investment Loan Fund will make loans of up to $1 million through community development financial institutions (CDFIs) whose goods and services help meet core needs in those communities. Charter will also provide each CDFI with a separate additional grant to provide those small businesses with additional training and technical expertise to assist in establishing sound business practices necessary for long-term growth and continuity.
“Through these investments in local small businesses, Charter will positively impact financially underserved communities by providing growth capital, creating new jobs and strengthening businesses,” said Charter Chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge.
During the first half of 2020, the Loan Fund will invest $1 million in Pursuit Community Finance (formerly known as the Excelsior Growth Fund) in New York, and $1 million in PeopleFund, a CDFI based in Texas. The Loan Fund also expects to invest $1 million in an Ohio-based CDFI later this year.
Charter’s $3 million phase one investment in New York, Texas and Ohio is expected to be combined with more than $12 million in total capital from other sources and lead to the creation of hundreds of new jobs in underserved communities throughout those states.
By the end of the first quarter in 2021, the Loan Fund program plans to invest an additional $4 million, collectively, in selected CDFIs in California, Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The initial $7 million investments will be in states comprising 70% of Charter’s more than 29 million customers.