$500K community loan fund established to revitalize central Providence

PROVIDENCE – The ONE Neighborhood Builders and Providence Revolving Fund, lenders, nonprofit leaders and local business owners Tuesday announced the establishment of The Central Providence Community Loan Fund, a $500,000 trust that will provide flexible capital to eligible businesses and nonprofits in the city’s 02908 and 02909 ZIP codes.

“We expect the fund will evolve and grow in perpetuity, serving as an ongoing source of capital for years to come,” said Jennifer Hawkins, ONE Neighborhood Builders executive director.

The new fund will prioritize nonprofits and businesses that contribute to the revitalization, health, safety, and vibrancy of central Providence and those who have been often excluded from decision making and ownership, such as women and people of color.

The loans, which will be administered by Providence Revolving Fund, are available between  $1,000 and $20,000 at 2% interest rate for up to five years.

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“This initiative is in line with our mission to create meaningful change via housing, economic development and neighborhood revitalization,” said Providence Revolving Fund Executive Director Carrie Zaslow. “It’s not just about the buildings. It’s about the people and the neighborhoods.”

To qualify, eligible nonprofits and businesses must have fewer than 25 employees while having a physical establishment within the two ZIP codes. They must also show and demonstrate a viable business idea that would allow them to pay back the loan.

“Investing in small businesses and nonprofits is critical to ensuring vibrant neighborhoods and prosperous families,” said Vennicia Kingston, owner of Eagle Eye Construction Service and an inaugural member of the loan fund committee. “The fund will not only provide capital to business owners, but also support the community more broadly, since lending decisions will be made with the entire community’s prosperity in mind.”

More information about the The Central Providence Community Loan Fund can be found here.