August 12, 2020

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Comerica Bank Announces $2 Million Investment to CDFIs - Lendistry and California FarmLink - Aiding Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Submitted by: Comerica Bank

Categories: Socially Responsible Investing, Health & Wellness

Posted: Jul 22, 2020 – 12:15 PM EST

 

DALLAS, Jul. 22 /CSRwire/ - Comerica Bank continues its response to supporting local communities with investments totaling $2 million to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) assisting small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Investments of $1.5 million to Lendistry and $500,000 to California FarmLink are part of Comerica Bank and the Comerica Charitable Foundation’s $8 million investment in community programming support for businesses impacted by COVID-19. The investments will provide necessary funding to small businesses across Comerica’s five-state footprint of Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Texas.

“Lendistry and California FarmLink work directly with small businesses to deliver critical funding and resources,” said Comerica Bank Chief Community Officer Irvin Ashford, Jr. “These businesses provide valuable services, goods and jobs that are vital to our communities, and we want to help those needing support recover and weather these challenging times.”

Lendistry, led by a team of experienced commercial and community lenders, provides affordable small business and commercial real estate loans. The CDFI delivers economic opportunities and progressive growth for small business owners and underserved communities as a source of financing and financial education. Lendistry ranks second nationwide in SBA Community Advantage lending.

“Reversing the staggering unemployment numbers depends on small businesses having the resources to get back on track,” Lendistry CEO Everett K. Sands said. “Comerica’s investment in Lendistry will support loans to some of the smallest and most underserved businesses in Comerica’s markets, including those owners by minorities, women and veterans.

“Comerica’s capital also will enable Lendistry to accelerate our development and enlarge our impact as we rise to meet the growing need for the combination of small business support, low-cost financing and fintech efficiency that Lendistry was built to deliver. We appreciate Comerica’s vision and commitment to our shared purpose, along with its trust and partnership.”

California FarmLink invests in the prosperity of farmers and ranchers through lending, education and access to land. FarmLink helps farmers to build strong business skills, access fair financing and establish secure land tenure.

“We deeply appreciate the bank’s partnership. Today, FarmLink’s loan portfolio of $15 million serves 200 small-scale farmers throughout California,” said California FarmLink Executive Director Reggie Knox. “These farmers are the future of regional food systems. So far this year, more than 35% of borrowers are women and 80% are farmers of color. Many of these farmers have been adversely impacted by the closing of restaurants, schools and other sales channels due to the coronavirus pandemic. Comerica’s timely commitment of capital to our loan fund will support these farmers, and help to guarantee continued access to fresh, healthy foods in this time of crisis.”

On May 7, Comerica Bank and Comerica Charitable Foundation announced investments totaling $8 million to support community programming and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Coupled with aid to small and micro businesses, investments are directed toward community service organizations providing services to youth, seniors and other vulnerable populations. Among the aid recently announced includes a $1 million commitment to the National Business League to launch the Black Capital Access Program, and access to capital to assist Black businesses across the country.

Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Commercial Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico. Comerica reported total assets of $84 billion at June 30, 2020 and celebrated its 170th anniversary in August 2019.

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