Citizens Bank Foundation awards $5,000 to Vermont Community Loan Fund's Microlending Technical Assistance Program
Grant supports economic development, growth of Vermont’s small business community
BURLINGTON, VT – As part of its ongoing commitment to Vermont communities, the Citizens Bank Foundation today announced it has awarded a $5,000 grant to the Vermont Community Loan Fund’s Microlending Technical Assistance Program.
The Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) provides equitable access to capital for the development of affordable housing, community facilities and organizations, as well as local businesses. Its Microlending Technical Assistance Program offers consulting and education to small and emerging Vermont businesses and entrepreneurs, helping them build their operations, financial health and impact.
“VCLF’s microlending program provides a critical source of assistance for women, low-income and minority entrepreneurs striving to start and grow their own businesses,” said Joe Carelli, President, Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, Vermont. “We are thrilled to support this pivotal economic development program. We hope that this grant will give entrepreneurs and small business owners the boost they need to succeed and, in turn, create jobs that will strengthen the reach and impact of Vermont's business community.”
The microlending program provides borrowers with low-interest loans and the tools to best utilize this capital and grow their businesses. As part of the initiative, VCLF borrowers will receive assistance in marketing, managing and budgeting.
Between 2010 and 2013, VCLF’s microlending program closed 35 microloans totaling $990,101, creating or preserving jobs for 193 Vermonters. During that period 46 percent of microloan borrowers operated businesses in town centers, and 58 percent had women in positions of senior management or business ownership.
Citizens Bank Foundation made the grant as part of Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities, a bank program designed to contribute to the economic vitality of the communities it serves.
About Citizens Helping Citizens
Grounded in the belief that a good bank gives back to its community and to the people who live there, Citizens Helping Citizens is a program embracing the community goals of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. – the commercial bank holding company serving consumer and small business customers as Citizens Bank and Charter One and commercial banking customers as RBS Citizens. The Citizens Helping Citizens program is composed of five key initiatives supported directly by RBSCFG and its nonprofit charitable foundations, the Citizens Charitable Foundation, the Citizens Bank Foundation and the Charter One Foundation: Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger, Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter, Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities (economic development), Citizens Helping Citizens Teach Money Management (financial education) and Citizens Helping Citizens Give (volunteerism and colleague charitable donations). Across all of these initiatives, Citizens Helping Citizens strives to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in local communities.