FHLBC Community Investment staff sponsored, hosted, or participated in 89 conferences, events, ribbon cuttings, webinars, and workshops. They expanded awareness, knowledge, and relationships with our members, partners, and supporters. Additionally, 1,200 people registered for a Community Investment webinar or workshop in 2016.
The FHLBC has committed $41 million of the Community First Fund at year-end 2016, plus added one new fund partner. The Community First Fund is a $50 million revolving loan fund that provides direct support to community development financial institutions, community development loan funds, and state housing finance agencies serving Illinois and Wisconsin.
“This partnership with the Community First Fund will help us meet the growing demand for small business loans in Illinois. By providing loans up to $100,000 to qualified borrowers, we fill a gap in the credit market. Without Accion, and the support of the Community First Fund, many of the region’s budding entrepreneurs and promising start-ups would be pushed toward predatory lending companies or stranded without access to credit.”
CEO, Accion Chicago
Accion Chicago provided a $50,000 loan to Vernita Johnson to purchase a new location for her growing printing business, DLV Printing. The story of DLV Printing began in 1991 when co-founder and President Vernita took a piece of paper and wrote down the word “Deliver.”
“As in, ‘deliver me from this job’’” she says. She left her job at a large printing firm to pursue her dream of owning her own printing company. With the help of her two sisters, Denise and Laverne, she began printing business cards out of a bedroom that was converted into a home office. Vernita noticed that the word “deliver” contained the first initials of the three sisters’ names, and thus DLV Printing was created.
As the business grew, DLV Printing’s services expanded to include a variety of offset printing and embroidery on paper and clothing products such as letterhead, invitations, envelopes, stationery, t-shirts, and school uniforms. Today DLV Printing is one of the premier one-stop-shop printing companies based in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood in a larger facility made possible through the loan from Accion. From its humble beginnings, DLV Printing has doubled in staff and they now supply uniforms to more than 50 Chicago schools.