STAMFORD, Conn. – Charter Communications, Inc. today announced the creation of the Spectrum Community Investment Loan Fund. The Loan Fund focuses on making loans through community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to small businesses whose goods and services help meet core needs in underserved communities within Charter's 41-state operating footprint.
The Loan Fund will invest $10 million in capital by the end of 2021, making loans up to $1 million to each CDFI. In addition, Charter will provide each CDFI with a separate additional grant, which will provide these small businesses with additional training and technical expertise to assist in establishing sound business practices necessary for long-term growth and continuity.
During the first half of 2020, the Spectrum Community Investment Loan Fund will invest $1 million in Pursuit Community Finance (formerly known as the Excelsior Growth Fund) in New York, and $1 million in PeopleFund, a CDFI based in Texas. The Loan Fund also expects to invest $1 million in an Ohio-based CDFI later this year. By the end of the first quarter in 2021, the Loan Fund program plans to invest an additional $4 million, collectively, in selected CDFIs in California, Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The initial $7 million investments will be in states comprising 70% of Charter's more than 29 million customers.
Charter has engaged Cabrera Capital Markets, a diverse-owned investment bank based in Chicago, to spearhead the due diligence process on the Loan Fund's first three CDFI investments. Cabrera Capital Markets has partnered with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (also known as LISC), one of the nation's largest CDFIs, to supplement its CDFI underwriting capabilities. Charter has selected Siebert Williams Shank & Co. and CastleOak Securities, L.P., two other diverse-owned investment banks, to provide due diligence support and related advisory services on its future CDFI investments.