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- Aug. 17, 2011 - CRF Pilots New Loan Program for Green Business Improvements
Aug. 17, 2011
Community Reinvestment Fund, USA Pilots New Loan Program for “Green” Business Improvements
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact:
Community Reinvestment Fund, USA
Initiative pairs expert guidance and best practices in energy conservation with capital availability
at more favorable terms than traditional channels
MINNEAPOLIS – (Aug. 17, 2011) – To save money and improve operational efficiency, Minnesota
businesses are thinking “green.” Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF), a non-profit organization that
connects community development lenders with the capital resources of Wall Street, 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.
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). The
grant started a green loan fund to make energy financing available to small businesses in Minnesota looking to
improve existing buildings by reducing energy consumption or producing energy from renewable resources.
CRF worked with several local partners – including the City of Minneapolis, St. Paul Port Authority,
Minnesota Community Capital Fund, Metropolitan Consortium of Community Development and Xcel Energy – to
identify businesses interested in the pilot program.
“Most existing energy conservation loan programs only support large capital investments,” said Frank
Altman, president and chief executive officer of 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.”
A Growing Demand
Small businesses are often quick to adopt practices that will result in lower costs, but many businesses
also lack the financial and organizational resources to fund green building enhancements. The Green Loan for Businesses targets entrepreneurs who want to make significant energy-saving improvements to their business
facilities, and allows business owners 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 significant green investments.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, buildings in the U.S. are responsible for 39 percent of
carbon emissions, 40 percent of energy consumption and 13 percent of water consumption per year.
“Providing funding for energy financing and ‘green-dollar’ jobs strengthen Minnesota’s small businesses
and give 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.”
For More Information
Business owners interested in learning more about the program can visit www.crfusa.com/crf_green_loan_for_business/ for more information.
Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF), a non-profit organization and certified Community
Development Financial Institution (CDFI), is the nation’s leader in bringing capital to public and private, non-profit
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. www.crfusa.com.