Anne-Marie Saint-John, Alva, Long Island City, NY >

ascendus awarded $1.8 million grant from the treasury’s community development financial institutions

New York, NY – Tuesday, June 15, 2021: The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund awards Ascendus a $1.8 million Rapid Response Program Grant to support economic relief in communities affected by COVID-19. The awards were announced today by Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House with Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen. The grants will be made through Treasury’s CDFI Rapid Response Program (CDFI RRP) and will provide necessary capital for CDFIs to respond to economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in underserved communities.

“In serving places that the financial sector historically hasn’t served well, CDFIs lift our whole economy up. We know that for every dollar injected into a CDFI, it catalyzes eight more dollars in private-sector investment, meaning that today’s announcement might lead to an additional $10 billion in investment,” said Secretary Janet Yellen. “The President and the Vice President ran on a very ambitious agenda – ‘Build Back Better,’ unwinding systemic racism, creating an economy that works for everyone. I believe this is what that looks like in practice. By channeling more capital into CDFIs, we are translating those ideals into reality.”

Ascendus will use the CDFI RRP grant funds to deploy relief and recovery capital directly to underserved small business owners across their footprint. “At Ascendus, we believe in the power of financial ascension – for many small businesses this has meant gaining access to flexible loans to help recover from the pandemic. Funding from the CDFI Fund through the Rapid Response program will allow us to make millions in flexible capital available to small businesses we wouldn’t be able to otherwise.  This funding will help our clients keep business open, existing employees on payroll, create jobs where able, and begin to position themselves for growth.”— Paul Quintero, CEO of Ascendus, Inc.

CDFI RRP award recipients are headquartered in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico. The award recipients include 58 organizations that committed to direct their awards to investments in Native American, Native Alaskan, and Native Hawaiian communities; they received a total of $54.6 million in awards.

CDFI RRP awards will reach a wide variety of low-income communities across the United States impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The awardees include CDFIs that serve rural, major urban, and minor urban markets.

For more information contact Coco Corona, Ascendus Communications and Marketing Manager at [email protected].


About Ascendus

Ascendus is a nonprofit small business lender working to create economic opportunity by providing entrepreneurs with access to the capital and the business support they need to create and grow healthy enterprises and contribute to thriving local economies. Since 1991, Ascendus has provided more than $200 million to 25,000 small businesses owners across the country.

About the CDFI Fund

Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $3.9 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through the Bank Enterprise Award Program, the Capital Magnet Fund, the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program, and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $61 billion in tax credit allocation authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program and closed guaranteed bonds for over $1.7 billion through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.

For more information about the CDFI Fund and its programs, please visit

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