Staff members celebrate the 10th anniversary of Renaissance Community Loan Fund.
Renaissance Community Loan Fund
, a Mississippi-based, nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), recently celebrated 10 years of successful community lending and services.
Renaissance, a community investment partner with the
Adrian Dominican Sisters
, began with several affordable housing programs to assist low- to moderate-income residents affected by Hurricane Katrina. Through these programs
, Renaissance helped 2,000 families realize their dream of homeownership. Renaissance also created a program to serve the entire local population, especially the elderly and disabled who "fell through the cracks" during the post-Katrina years. Renaissance provided financing for repair and rehab of existing homes, modifications to accommodate special needs, and, in many extreme cases, assistance in home replacement.
For the past decade, Renaissance
---- led by President and CEO Kimberly LaRosa
---- has implemented innovative programs and pursued funding and certifications that will further grow the organization. In 2015, Renaissance became the only certified Small Business Administration micro-lender in Mississippi, providing more than $8 million in business loans and grants, creating more than 600 jobs throughout the state.
This year, the U.S. Treasury Department allocated
New Markets Tax Credits
to Renaissance from the government's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. Through this competitive process, community development entities such as Renaissance have the authority to offer tax credits to investors whose funds benefit businesses and their communities.
Renaissance also sets itself apart from other business lenders by offering to start-up and existing businesses opportunities that are often unavailable through a traditional lender. One such business was Sonshine Inn Pre-School in Biloxi, Mississippi. Founded in 2000 on the belief that every child deserves the chance to learn and develop in a nurturing environment, Sonshine is one of the few remaining childcare centers in the area that works with the Department of Human Services to provide an affordable tuition rate for children in foster care and those from low-income families.
Financing from Renaissance allowed Sonshine Inn Pre-School the needed stability to grow its programs, giving more children in critical need the earliest foundation for academic success, which they will carry for a lifetime.
The programs and businesses funded by Renaissance truly change a community, from spurring small-business growth to supporting widespread housing needs. Renaissance has been making powerful community impacts by serving disadvantaged families, businesses, and communities for the last 10 years.