This report describes the results of an in-depth market assessment study conducted for the Finance Fund by the Center for Economic Development and the Center for Housing Research and Policy at Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs. The Finance Fund, located in Columbus, Ohio, is a statewide nonprofit financial intermediary. It finds funding and provides resources to support organizations that assist low- and moderate-income families and communities.1 The Finance Fund works primarily within low-income rural and urban communities throughout the state of Ohio by connecting local community development organizations and small businesses with needed funding in the form of grants, loans, and nontraditional financial products. Most of the projects in which the Finance Fund acts as a financial intermediary are in the areas of affordable housing, child care and early learning facilities, small business entrepreneurship, community facilities, and commercial revitalization. The majority of the Finance Fund’s clients are community-based nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses that serve the low-income community. In order to provide the funding needed to undertake these projects, the Finance Fund helps create public-private partnerships with financial institutions, investors, charitable foundations, community organizations, and federal, state, and local governments.
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