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First Union Commits to Invest $750,000 in Florida Community Loan Fund to Support Statewide Revitalization Efforts

Submitted by: First Union Corporation

Categories: Community Development

Posted: Jul 17, 2000 – 12:00 AM EST


Total of $1.5 Million Pledged to Four Florida Community Groups

Jul. 17 /CSRwire/ - First Union Corporation today announced a $750,000 investment in the Florida Community Loan Fund to support its neighborhood revitalization and affordable housing initiatives throughout the state.

First Union's investment uses an innovative community development finance tool known as an equity equivalent investment (EQ2), which is a long-term, deeply-subordinated loan with features that make it function like equity.

In 1999, First Union also committed a four-year $200,000 grant to the Loan Fund to be used for operating expenses.

"With its most recent support, First Union demonstrates its continued commitment to the mission of the Loan Fund and to the development of Florida's Community Development Financial Institutions," said Ignacio Esteban, executive director of the Florida Community Loan Fund. "First Union's leadership has been evident since the Loan Fund's earliest stages. The Loan Fund intends to leverage this innovative support with investments from other sources, which will bring the organization closer to attaining its ambitious five-year goals."

The Florida Community Loan Fund directs capital to help revitalize low-income communities throughout Florida. Over the past three years, the Loan Fund has provided nearly $2 million in low-cost, flexible financing to nonprofit organizations that focus on meeting housing, economic development and social service credit needs statewide. The Florida Community Loan Fund is the only statewide certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in Florida.

"First Union has been a strong supporter of the Florida Community Loan Fund since its inception in 1995," said Nelson Black, regional community development manager for First Union in Florida. "Our latest commitments bring our total investment in the Loan Fund to more than $1 million and will stimulate further affordable housing development and neighborhood renewal in Florida communities."

In 2000, First Union has committed a total of $1.5 million in financial support for four CDFIs in Florida to support statewide and regional revitalization initiatives. In addition to its $750,000 investment in the Florida Community Loan Fund, First Union today announced:

· A $250,000 equity equivalent investment in Community Equity Investments, Inc., to promote community development in Northwest Florida;

· $250,000 in financing for the Business Loan Fund of the Palm Beaches, Inc., to provide capital for small businesses; and

· $200,000 in financing for the Lee County Employment and Economic Development Corporation to provide loans to small businesses.

These loans and investments qualify for the U.S. Treasury Department's CDFI Fund's Bank Enterprise Awards (BEA) Program. The BEA Program recognizes financial institutions that invest in specialized, designated CDFIs that focus on affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization.

Since 1996, First Union has committed about $80 million in community development loans and investments to CDFIs throughout its marketplace.

In 1999, First Union committed a record $12.7 billion in community development loans and investments throughout the eastern states and beyond. In the state of Florida, the company directed nearly $2 billion to community revitalization and economic development initiatives last year.

In recognition of its volunteer efforts for education, First Union received the 2000 President's Service Award, the nation's highest honor for volunteer services sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation and the Corporation for National Service.

First Union, with $254 billion in assets and stockholders' equity of $17 billion at March 31, 2000, is a leading provider of financial services to 16 million retail and corporate customers throughout the East Coast and the nation. The company operates full-service banking offices in 12 East Coast states and Washington, D.C., and full-service brokerage offices in 41 states.

The Florida Community Loan Fund, Inc. is a statewide, private, independent, publicly supported, nonprofit financial intermediary with offices in Orlando and Tampa Bay. As a community development loan fund, its mission is to strengthen and revitalize economically distressed communities in Florida by improving access to low-cost capital.

For more information, please contact:

Mary Beth Navarro First Union Corporation
Phone: (704) 374-2292


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