February 2012

CHI Makes Direct Community Investments


CHI’s Direct Community Investment Program makes low-interest or no-interest loans to community-based organizations that promote access to health care, housing, education or jobs. As of Dec. 31, 2011, CHI had committed $38 million in loans through the program. During the fourth quarter of 2011, the Social Responsibility Investment Staff Committee approved a new loan and renewed two others.

 

Colorado Enterprise Fund, Inc.

Serves Colorado

Loan Amount: $500,000

Colorado Enterprise Fund, Inc. (CEF), founded in 1976, is a loan fund that provides innovative and responsive financing products to disadvantaged small businesses and emerging entrepreneurs throughout Colorado. CEF also supports borrowers with ongoing technical assistance, management training, knowledge sharing and resources to help small businesses achieve peak performance. CEF’s loans range from $1,000 to $250,000 with rates and terms that vary. Since 1990, CEF has loaned out more than $21 million, with 52% of the loans going to women, 28% to minorities and 57% to low-income individuals. Approximately five jobs are created for every CEF loan.

 

Oikocredit

Serves Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America

Loan Amount: $500,000

CHI renewed a loan to Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society d/b/a/ Oikocredit, a microfinance corporation headquartered in Washington, D.C. Oikocredit is a worldwide cooperative society that promotes global justice by challenging people, church communities and others to share their resources through socially responsible investments and by empowering disadvantaged people with credit. Oikocredit was established in the Netherlands in 1975 by the World Council of Churches as an ethical investment channel. Today, Oikocredit has funded more than 43,000 investors and has approximately $700 million invested in 863 microfinance and economic development projects in 71 developing countries. All investments go toward Oikocredit’s loan portfolio providing credit and equity through microfinance institutions, trade cooperatives, fair trade organizations, and small and medium enterprises.

 

Baudette Community Foundation ? Grand Theater

Serves Baudette, Minnesota

Loan Amount: $79,750

CHI has renewed a loan to the Baudette Community Foundation for the Grand Theater. Baudette is located in a remote area of northern Minnesota and has few recreational facilities available for families with children and teens. In 2001, CHI loaned $165,000 to the Baudette Community Foundation to help them re-open a local movie theater where youth and other community members could gather. Prior to the re-opening of the Grand Theater, the nearest movie theater was 75 miles away. A grassroots committee of community members formally organized the Baudette Community Foundation in response to an alarming increase in motor vehicle fatalities, especially among young drivers, due to the 150-mile round trip drive to go to a movie theater. The theater has been well received and enjoyed by people of all ages, from pre-schoolers to the elderly. The community has also seen a significant decrease in youth car accidents.