Press ReleaseFebruary 27, 2020
Charter Makes $10 Million Commitment and Launches Spectrum Community Investment Loan Fund
Charter to invest in community development financial institutions (CDFIs) who will lend to small businesses in underserved communities within Charter’s footprint - Pursuit in New York and PeopleFund in Texas first CDFIs to receive $1 million investments
Each loan fund investment coupled with a grant to the CDFIs to fund small business education and technical assistance provided to local entrepreneurs
STAMFORD, Conn. -- Charter Communications, Inc. today announced the creation of the Spectrum Community Investment Loan Fund. The Loan Fund focuses on making loans through community development financial institutions (CDFIs) to small businesses whose goods and services help meet core needs in underserved communities within Charter’s 41-state operating footprint.
The Loan Fund will invest $10 million in capital by the end of 2021, making loans up to $1 million to each CDFI. In addition, Charter will provide each CDFI with a separate additional grant, which will provide these small businesses with additional training and technical expertise to assist in establishing sound business practices necessary for long-term growth and continuity.
“Charter is committed to having a meaningful impact in the communities where our customers and employees live and work, and the Loan Fund is the latest Spectrum Community Impact program designed to do just that,” said Tom Rutledge, Chairman and CEO of Charter Communications. “Through these investments in local small businesses, Charter will positively impact financially underserved communities by providing growth capital, creating new jobs and strengthening businesses.”
During the first half of 2020, the Spectrum Community Investment Loan Fund will invest $1 million in Pursuit Community Finance (formerly known as the Excelsior Growth Fund) in New York, and $1 million in PeopleFund, a CDFI based in Texas. The Loan Fund also expects to invest $1 million in an Ohio-based CDFI later this year. By the end of the first quarter in 2021, the Loan Fund program plans to invest an additional $4 million, collectively, in selected CDFIs in California, Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The initial $7 million investments will be in states comprising 70 percent of Charter’s more than 29 million customers.
“Pursuit welcomes the Charter investment, which will help catalyze responsible lending to neighborhood small businesses in communities throughout New York State,” said Steve Cohen, president of Pursuit Community Finance. “It is noteworthy to have a public company express a commitment to community lending alongside our more typical bank investors.”
Charter’s $10 million commitment will have an amplified economic impact, serving as the anchor investment for the small business community programs into which each CDFI will direct additional third-party capital commitments. Charter’s $3 million phase one investment in New York, Texas and Ohio is expected to be combined with more than $12 million in total capital from other sources and lead to the creation of hundreds of new jobs in underserved communities throughout those states.
“It is a true honor for PeopleFund being selected by Charter to be part of this initiative and we applaud their commitment in support of CDFIs to help our most vulnerable communities,” said Gustavo Lasala, president and CEO of PeopleFund. “Each dollar that Charter invests in a CDFI has a multiplier effect. We will leverage each dollar from Charter with four dollars from other sources for a grand total of $5 million to be invested in small businesses throughout Texas. This will have an enormous positive economic impact in the communities where these businesses operate by creating hundreds of jobs and helping hundreds of families achieve financial stability and independence.”
Charter has engaged Cabrera Capital Markets, a diverse-owned investment bank based in Chicago, to spearhead the due diligence process on the Loan Fund’s first three CDFI investments. Cabrera Capital Markets has partnered with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (also known as LISC), one of the nation’s largest CDFIs, to supplement its CDFI underwriting capabilities. Charter has selected Siebert Williams Shank & Co. and CastleOak Securities, L.P., two other diverse-owned investment banks, to provide due diligence support and related advisory services on its future CDFI investments.
Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR) is a leading broadband communications company and the second largest cable operator in the United States. Charter provides a full range of advanced residential broadband services, including Spectrum TV® programming, Spectrum Internet®, Spectrum Voice®, and Spectrum Mobile™. Under the Spectrum Business® brand, Charter provides scalable, and cost-effective broadband communications solutions to small and medium-sized business organizations, including Internet access, business telephone, and TV services. Through the Spectrum Enterprise brand, Charter is a national provider of scalable, fiber-based technology solutions serving many of America's largest businesses and communications service providers. Charter's advertising sales and production services are sold under the Spectrum Reach® brand. Charter's news and sports networks are operated under the Spectrum Networks brand. More information about Charter can be found at corporate.charter.com.
At Pursuit, our mission is simple: to provide businesses with affordable loans and resources so that they can reach higher, transform and grow. Pursuit is a community-focused lender where businesses can access more than 15 loan programs that provide financing from $10,000 to $5.5 million with affordable rates and terms. Last year alone, Pursuit provided more than $234 million in funding through 488 business loans, creating more than 2,900 jobs. Pursuit is a nationally recognized organization that focuses on serving businesses and lending partners in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Pursuit Community Finance is the non-profit, CDFI affiliate of Pursuit. Learn more at www.pursuitlending.com.
PeopleFund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 1994. It is a U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and SBA certified lender. PeopleFund provides business loans up to $350,000 to Texas businesses that do not qualify for bank loans. It also provides client business assistance and education. 97% of loans are to target market of minority, women, and veteran business owners and those residing in low to moderate income census tracts. 59% of current loans are to startups and non-profit organizations. It also makes SBA 504 loans up to $5 million and closes multiple high impact new market tax credit transactions. Through access to capital and educational opportunities, PeopleFund creates economic opportunity and financial stability for underserved people to build healthy small businesses. PeopleFund inspires, educates, funds, and elevates entrepreneurs on the path to prosperity and the American dream. www.peoplefund.org.