Social Impact Loans are small loans that usually receive preferential terms, rates, and underwriting evaluation in recognition of the “Good” that will result from the loan. CIC is invested in our community and we are willing to invest in businesses and organizations that share our vision and values when others institutions are unable to.
There are two approaches we use:
Partnerships with Nonprofit Organizations
CIC is actively seeking partnerships with local nonprofit organizations that see ways to offer essential services to their clients via low interest loans. Our nonprofit community in Southern Arizona, of which CIC is proudly an active member, is incredible in the scope of social programs we provide and in our positive impact. Nonprofits know their clients’ needs and know which ones could benefit from access to affordable debt capital – an approach which provides both the opportunity for clients to both receive services and to help the next client in need through the financial support of their loan payments. One need look no further than the success of Habitat for Humanity to see that this approach works and has incredible potential to augment existing charitable efforts with business-minded ones where clients invest alongside those helping them.
As a working example of this approach, CIC currently partners with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona to support budding Food Entrepreneurs who are committed to providing affordable and healthy, delicious food and/or assisting low-income individuals/households who can utilize food entrepreneurship to increase their economic stability and grow their income over time. One recipient of a Food Entrepreneur loan, Pivot Produce, is a for-profit produce distribution company active in the Farm-to-Table movement. Founder and chef, Erik Stanford, has built a consortium of restaurants and farms which allows Tucson chefs access to the highest quality produce in the region and gives farmers access to Tucson’s top restaurants.
Borrowers receive microloans (up to $10,000) with low fees and at preferred interest rates.
Directly Lending to Social Enterprises (Businesses with Social Missions)
A Social Enterprise is an organization that applies business strategies and approaches to addressing community and societal issues. Different than a business enterprise which is generally focused on maximizing profit, a social enterprise will attempt to maximize social impact alongside profits. CIC, though a nonprofit, sees itself as a social enterprise in that it attempts to both do well financially with its investments while also doing capital-G, “Good” with them as well. CIC has already invested in several social enterprises through its Rural Nonprofit Lending and Food Entrepreneur partnerships with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona including Community Synergy Solutions and Pivot Produce.
Borrowers receive microloans (up to $25,000) with low fees and at preferred interest rates.