Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)

Through its role as a certified Community Development Financial Institution, the Northwest Side CDC provides a unique range of financial products and services in economically distressed target markets.  A certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) is a specialized financial institution that works in market niches that are underserved by traditional financial institutions (

Video Source: CSH

Small Business financing workshop at Century City Tower, organized as part of the 2017 Milwaukee Small Business Week

The NWSCDC serves businesses by providing access to alternative capital for borrowers who will make commitments to workforce development solutions within the Northwest Side of Milwaukee.  The NWSCDC offers a single financing product that has become our most successful community economic development tool: “mid-sized” business loans to private firms locating or expanding in our area, with an emphasis on manufacturing firms.  We typically finance acquisition of new equipment, build-out of shop space, or working capital.  A few loans are reserved for community development projects.  Current loan offerings range from $150,000 to $700,000 with an average of just over $500,000.  Our loans are typically layered into a larger financing package with other lenders.

NWSCDC wins CDFI award

Senator Durbin, Director Gambrell, Howard Snyder, Sam McGovern-Rowen, and Congressman Danny Davis at the CDFI Award Ceremony on July 18, 2011.

The NWSCDC offers generous loan terms and business development services to borrowers, with a focus on workforce development.  The main impact of the NWSCDC’s lending is the creation and retention of jobs in our Target Market.  Since 2000, the NWSCDC has lent over $10 Million to businesses that have created over 1,000 jobs.  The loans have financed catalytic real estate projects, including new minority-owned grocery stores in areas often categorized as urban food deserts.  Lending activity is currently focused on the expansion and creation of manufacturing firms in our area.

The NWSCDC was awarded grants from the CDFI Fund in 2013, 2014 and 2015 to provide lending capital and technical assistance, which allowed us to formalize our lending policies and further expand NWSCDC’s lending activities in our service area.  Increasing our lending activities includes the recruitment of bank investors to our loan fund.  The impact of the NWSCDC’s lending efforts includes the creation and retention of jobs in our Target Market.

For more information on the NWSCDC’s efforts as a CDFI, contact Director of Lending  Willie Smith.

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