Anne-Marie Saint-John, Alva, Long Island City, NY >
New York, NY – Wednesday, March 8th, 2023: The Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund has awarded Ascendus an $800,000 Financial Assistance Award to support underserved small business owners lacking adequate access to affordable financial products and services. The grant will enable Ascendus to expand lending and financial education to low-to moderate income small business owners, women small business owners, and entrepreneurs of color.
Ascendus will use the grant funds to power products in new industry verticals; bolster existing products – such as the Line of Credit, Get Ready Loan, and Childcare Provider Initiative; and expand into new geographies.
“We are proud to have earned a Financial Assistance award from the CDFI Fund this year. The award expands our lending volume beyond the limits of our existing debt, increases our net assets to attract future capital, and facilitates innovation through the absorption of credit risk. Reputationally, the award confers national validation that Ascendus is successfully executing its strategy for serving our target audiences.” – CEO of Ascendus, Paul Quintero.
Ascendus has received nine (9) of these highly competitive Financial Assistance Awards over the prior ten (10) years for a total of almost $10 million in support from the Fund. The totality of those dollars have gone into the hands of small business owners – with 75% reaching our Target Market of low-income and entrepreneurs of color (specifically Hispanic small business owners). At the same time, the awards have supported overall organizational growth from annual deployments of $7 million in 2012 to over $35 million we make available today.
Ascendus has a bold vision of financial ascension for all. Our mission is to empower low-to-moderate income business owners with access to capital and financial education. Since our inception over 30 years ago, we’ve dispersed $336 million in capital to 47,000 small business owners – primarily BIPOC, women, and immigrants.
About the CDFI Fund
Since its creation, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $5.2 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through: the Bank Enterprise Award Program; the Capital Magnet Fund; the CDFI Rapid Response Program; the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, including the Healthy Food Financing Initiative; the Economic Mobility Corps; the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program; the Native American CDFI Assistance Program; and the Small Dollar Loan Program. In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $66 billion in tax credit allocation authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program and closed guaranteed bonds for more than $1.8 billion through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.