RDF Awarded Bank of America Grant for Small Business Support Along South Central Corridor

RDF Awarded Bank of America Grant for Small Business Support Along South Central Corridor


February 14 , 2020

Contact:          Ruby Marinez

                                                                                                Phone:             602-417-1415

Email:     rmarinez@razafund.org

PHOENIX, Ariz.— The Raza Development Fund (RDF), the nation’s largest Latino Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation in support of its Small Business Initiative program bringing resources to entrepreneurs and their South Phoenix businesses along the South Central Extension of the light rail corridor.

The Fund was established with an original $20 million investment from Bank of America, and for 20 years BofA has continued to support RDF in a variety of ways to help create sustainable economic opportunities for underserved Latino communities and entrepreneurs. This recent grant is another testament to that continued partnership by investing in a community that has been overlooked and lived in the shadows for many years.

The diverse business owners of South Phoenix live, eat, work and pray in their community. This grant helps to scale the technical assistance, capacity building and access to capital that RDF provides local entrepreneurs to help them grow, sustain and thrive.

“The soul of the small business entrepreneur lives in the products, the goods and the services they provide to our community. The partnership with Bank of America will allow us to support and strengthen our commitment to South Phoenix small businesses,” said Tom Espinoza, president and CEO of RDF.

“Latino entrepreneurs make up nearly a quarter of all new local businesses, starting more enterprises than any other demographic segment,” said Benito Almanza, Bank of America market president for Arizona. “Our research shows that they’re more optimistic and ready to grow than their non-Latino counterparts, however they’re often newer and younger which means they lack access to important resources to help them scale. That is why we continue to invest into Raza and its Small Business Initiative as powerful connect point for South Central businesses that provides technical support, seed capital and networks.”

Founded in 1999 as a support corporation of UnidosUS, RDF provides access to capital and financing solutions to non-profits, UnidosUS affiliates, and other Latino-serving organizations across the country with the mission of breaking the cycle of poverty in low-income communities. Since inception, RDF has originated over $900 million of community development loans and investments in 34 states across the nation, leveraging over $4 billion of capital into low-income communities. Headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, RDF lends nationwide and has offices in Seattle, WA and New York City, NY.