Shop Local

Support Your Community by Supporting Small Businesses

If you give gifts for the winter holidays, now is the time to get serious about shopping!

Small Business Saturday is this weekend and CIC has put together a feature of local businesses (owned by people in Tucson!) that you can consider for your events and gifts.

Check out our recommendations below!

***Special Note: If you are interested in baked goods from Song & Sugar Sweets or Sydney’s Sweet Shoppe, contact them ASAP! Bakery calendars fill up fast during this season!

Baked Goods

Song & Sugar Sweets

Sydney’s Sweet Shoppe

Plant-Based

Healthful Flowers

Fungirl’s Fungi

Home Improvement

Originate Natural Building Materials

Fashion and Apparel

Iwona Ash

Fraqtals

Fitness

Kinetic Arts Tucson

Media and Marketing

Regal Fierce Media

Jewelry

Wayne Locke

CIC’s Homeownership Team Has Been Busy!

Have You Seen Us Lately?

Community Investment Corporation’s (CIC) Homeownership Team has been busy!

CIC is now the only organization facilitating the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program for the entire State of Arizona. We have been out and about to spread the word and help homebuyers in all counties purchase a home.

Did you miss the August MCC info session?

Watch the recording on YouTube!

Recent Wins!

It’s easy to get lost in the weeds of everyday life and forget how impactful our work is, so we want to share some positive news with you.

  • In mid-August, the max benefit for the Essential Worker grant DOUBLED to $5,000.
  • The number of households receiving the Essential Worker grant fund is increasing; 16 Essential Workers became homeowners in August.
  • We just added a new easy-to-use map to our website that makes finding target areas for the MCC program effortless. Take a look!
  • MSN.com featured CIC and the MCC program in A first-time homebuyer’s guide to Arizona.

Did you know homebuyers can use the MCC IN ADDITION TO other programs like Down Payment Assistance and the Essential Worker’s Fund? These programs not only bring homeownership within reach for some first-time homebuyers, they increase the buying power, which benefits the homeowner, the realtor, and the lender. It is truly a win-win-win situation!

Sign up for the last Mortgage Credit Certificate info session we’re hosting this year!

📅 Wednesday, November 9
⌚ 1-2 p.m.
💻 Zoom

CIC is Lighting the Night

Join CIC in bringing light to the darkness of cancer!

Community Investment Corporation (CIC) is proud to partner with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) for Light The Night! We are fundraising for the cause, and will be lighting the night in Tucson, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Seattle. The Tucson team will be Lighting the Night on October 22.

We hope that you join us!

As a nonprofit, especially one focused on boosting our community, we are passionate about partnering with other nonprofits who also do good in the community.

That is why CIC will match donations up to $250 PER PERSON!

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Why are we doing this?

CIC is a nonprofit dedicated to financial empowerment. We believe no person who has to undergo cancer treatments should be financially paralyzed in the process. Life-saving treatment should not come at such a high monetary cost for the patients and we are hoping our efforts will ease that burden.

If you want to support LLS and Light the Night but are not able to make it to the walk, consider making a contribution on the CIC team’s fundraising page! Thank you for supporting us and our partners!

BIPOC Loan Fund Is Now OPEN!

We are excited to announce that the BIPOC Community Managed Loan Fund is now OPEN!   

This is a truly one-of-a-kind fund where BIPOC (black, indigenous people of color) business owners in Southern Arizona can apply for 0% interest loans, ranging from $500 to $10,000 and 5-year terms.    

This fund gives access to business owners who are often left behind by traditional economic resources, and our goal is to provide economic power and collective wealth for this underserved community.  

And, the most important part, all loan decisions are made by a committee of BIPOC business owners and community leaders! 

Applications opened Friday July 1, 2022 and we’ve made some changes to the loan this year. 

We’re excited to announce that this loan has shifted into a REVOLVING loan fun! This means the fund is open all year round! No need to rush and apply. We want to make sure that these resources are available when your business needs them.

We are holding an info session Wednesday, July 13 for you to learn more and get your questions answered. RSVP below:  

* recording will be sent to registrants 

Please share this valuable resource with your community, especially BIPOC business owners in Southern Arizona!

This fund was founded by the community FOR our community.  Thank you to our amazing partners – blaxfridayStartup TucsonTEPCoxBBVAWomen’s Foundation for the State of ArizonaUnited Way of Southern ArizonaYWCA Southern Arizona, and Tucson Metro Chamber

We hope to see you there!

– CIC Team and the BIPOC Loan Fund Committee

At the Cross Section of Pride and Homeownership Month

As we near the end of June, and the corporate logos with rainbow overlays start to come down, we wanted to highlight an aspect of the LGBTQ+ experience that doesn’t often make the headlines – homeownership.
 
In addition to being Pride Month, June is also National Homeownership Month. For those that have tried, homebuying has been a rocky road for the last couple of years; whether you’ve been an aspiring buyer outbid by out-of-state investors swooping in with cash offers well-above the asking price, or more recently, a lender or realtor struggling with rising interest rates and reluctant buyers.
 
The homebuying process is not easy…full stop. At CIC, we have several programs, including our Down Payment Assistance and Mortgage Credit Certificate programs that aim to make home buying more affordable across Arizona, but there are additional barriers that members of LGBTQ+ community face.
 
According to this Forbes article, about 29% (of 1,538 members of LGBTQ+ community surveyed by Realtor.com) “reported they had experienced discrimination during the homebuying process or suspected they were victims of it.”
 
The Fair Housing Act of 1968 was created to protect homebuyers and renters against discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status and disability. However, it did not extend housing protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, excluding millions of Americans who identify as LGBTQ+.
 
The article goes on to explain that to avoid discrimination, many LGBTQ+ homebuyers often gravitate towards more urban areas where they feel safer. However real estate is increasingly unaffordable in city centers, prompting an exodus to the suburbs where they are forced to live in areas where they may feel less protected, under-represented or even un-welcome in order to access affordable housing.

Discrimination can also be much more subtle. In speaking with Mario Zuniga (pictured above), who administers the Mortgage Credit Certificate program at CIC and has gone through the home buying process many times with his husband, he pointed out that many loan applications in Arizona still end by requiring signatures from a “husband and wife”, or ask for gender identification, but only list “male or female.”
 
Mario shared a few suggestions to reduce heteronormativity in the home buying process. First, “take the time to get to know your buyers and let them tell you their story. Don’t make assumptions about the nature of the relationship based on gender, perhaps the buyers are friends or siblings.”
 
Additionally, think about making the language in your applications gender-neutral, with words like applicant, borrower, buyer, etc. If gender or familial relationship is not relevant to the resource you are providing, is it necessary to ask?
 
In conclusion, remember that while the dream of homeownership is baked into the DNA of being American, it can also be a scary and vulnerable process for people who don’t fit into the historically narrow definition of being the model American family. We challenge you to ask yourself “How can I ease the experience and leave assumptions out of the equation?”

On the market for a new home, contact our team to see if our programs can save you money!

A Message From Our BIPOC Loan Committee

Our hearts and sympathies go out to the victims and survivors that were involved in the shooting in Buffalo, NY.  We’ve seen an uptick in racially-motivated shootings since 2021 and feel that now more than ever, is the time to take concrete action to continue to address these issues.

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Tucson Information Technology Alliance

Cybersecurity Skills Training to Underserved Seeking Jobs in Booming Industry

CIC is excited to be a part of the Tucson Information Technology Alliance, a partnership between Tucson-based tech accelerator Go For VerticalTransmosis Corporation, and CIC offering underserved adults in the Tucson area an opportunity to train for high-growth information technology careers. The scholarships are provided thanks to an Economic & Workforce Development Grant awarded to the Tucson Information Technology Skills Alliance by the City of Tucson. 

The Alliance’s intensive information technology training program will be offered to residents of the Tucson area with a focus on the unemployed, underserved, minorities, veterans, and low-wage career changers. 

Using a proprietary virtual training model created by Transmosis, a nationally-recognized cybersecurity workforce developer, the program enables applicants to become rapidly trained in employer-driven information technology skills that can lead to industry certifications and employment. 

“The need for a highly trained, agile and robust technology workforce is evident in Tucson, where talent is often imported into the region rather than focusing on development of the local workforce. Meeting this demand for qualified local IT professionals can change that trend, and is crucial for attracting and keeping businesses with continued job and wage growth,” says Edward Cruz, CEO of Go For Vertical. 

Tucson has witnessed a booming 90 percent growth in technology jobs and a 29 percent growth in tech job wages over the last several years. However, employers continue to struggle to fill the open positions with local qualified candidates, according to Tucson Business Insider

Tucson Information Technology Skills Alliance Partners

Go For Vertical is a Tucson-based technology and venture accelerator with a mission to help the Southern Arizona region develop a robust innovation ecosystem. With a focus on startups, nonprofits and enterprise clients, G4V has grown from a small group based in Tucson to an expanded team of over 100 consultants and engineers based both in the US and overseas delivering global technology and business solutions.  

 Transmosis is a nationally recognized cybersecurity workforce developer that enables American workers to develop new careers in the rapidly growing information security industry. Transmosis is the creator of transmosisONE, a Fortune 5000 cybersecurity platform designed to protect small businesses/SMBs from cyber attack with integrated cyber liability coverage.

Supporting Innovation in Education

Over $600,000 in seed funding will be awarded through A for Arizona’s Expansion and Innovation Fund, including the Pima IDA’s gift, empowering innovative school and community leaders, teachers, and families to implement their bold ideas for reimagining learning models, creating and scaling more student-focused programs, and developing better teaching and learning educational approaches. Applications are being accepted for this grant funding June 3 – July 8 at noon.

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