Published December 1, 1996 | December 1996 issue
The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund recently announced the first round of funding awards for the Bank Enterprise Awards (BEA) program. Although less well-known than the CDFI program, the BEA program also promotes neighborhood revitalization through the increased provision of lending opportunities, financial services and technical assistance in distressed communities. More than 50 banks and thrifts applied for BEA funding, and 38 eligible institutions received awards totaling $13.1 million for their increased support of community development. Organizations receiving BEA awards are located in 18 states and the District of Columbia.
The BEA program rewards participating insured depository institutions for making equity investments in CDFIs and increasing their direct lending and service activities in designated economically distressed communities. The first round of BEA awards leveraged nearly $66 million in private-sector investments in CDFIs. In addition, it leveraged $60 million in direct lending and services provided by the award recipients in the economically distressed neighborhoods they serve.
After the BEA program awards, the remaining funds were transferred to the CDFI program. Those funds allowed three CDFIs to receive new or additional award allocations.