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  • Posted on: September 24th, 2018

    Community First Fund Enters Philadelphia Market With Joint Award From JPMorgan Chase

    Lancaster, PA (September 24, 2018) – Today, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation unveiled over $14.5 million to the winners of its fifth annual Partnerships for Raising Opportunity in Neighborhoods (PRO Neighborhoods) CDFI Collaborative competition, aimed at promoting inclusive growth through collaboration. Community First Fund, a community development financial institution (CDFI) headquartered in Lancaster, is a joint member of a winning umbrella group selected by JPMorgan Chase.

    Community First Fund joined forces with other CDFIs headquartered in Philadelphia; LISC (Local Initiative Support Coalition), FINANTA (Financing and Technical Advice) and Impact Loan Fund; to form the Kensington del Corazón Collaborative to participate in this annual competition. The organizations in this Collaborative all provide affordable financing to promote economic opportunities in underserved communities.
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  • Posted on: September 21st, 2018

    Community First Fund Receives Award from US Treasury to Support Regional Economic Growth

    Lancaster, PA (September 20, 2018) – Community First Fund, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) headquartered in Lancaster, has been awarded $700,000 through the United States Department of Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions – Financial Assistance program to spur economic and community development in distressed and low-income communities. The award will be used to support Community First Fund’s lending efforts throughout central and eastern Pennsylvania.

    On September 19th, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) awarded $202.2 million to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) across the nation and Puerto Rico. The awards will enable CDFIs to increase lending and investment activity in low-income and economically distressed communities. Community First Fund was one of 302 organizations selected nationwide from a highly competitive grant application process, and one of only 11 recipient organizations in Pennsylvania.
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  • Posted on: June 1st, 2018

    Community First Fund, PeoplesBank and Hotel Lancaster Announce Financing Deal for Property Redevelopment Project

    Lancaster, PA (June 1, 2018) – This morning Daniel Betancourt, President and CEO of Community First Fund, The Honorable Danene Sorace, Mayor of Lancaster, Eric Warfel, Senior Vice President and Director of Commercial Lending for PeoplesBank, Lyle Holser, Vice President of Economic Development Company of Lancaster County (EDC), and local real estate developer John Meeder, formally announced the completion of a multi-faceted financing deal for a project in the heart of Lancaster.

    Lancaster developers John Meeder and Sam Wilsker, along with a group of investors, recently closed on a $23 million financing package to convert The Hotel Lancaster, formerly the Brunswick Hotel, into a Holiday Inn Resort. The remodeled hotel will accommodate 86 new guest rooms, along with a full-service restaurant and banquet facilities. Once completed, the facility will create 66 new jobs and retain 36 jobs for a total of 102 employment opportunities in downtown Lancaster.
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  • Posted on: April 20th, 2018

    Community First Fund Announces New Business Development Associate for York Regional Office

    York, PA (April 20, 2018) – Community First Fund, a non-profit community development financial institution headquartered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, announces the appointment of Natividad Rivera as Business Development Associate for York and Adams counties. In this position, Rivera will be working to build connections in the York market, educate the community on the organization’s product and service offerings and meet with potential loan applicants. He will be working out of Community First Fund’s York office located at 7 East Market Street.
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  • Posted on: April 13th, 2018

    Community First Fund Announces $5 Million New Markets Tax Credit Allocation for Salvation Army Build Project

    Harrisburg, PA (April 13, 2018) – Community First Fund is pleased to formally announce a substantial New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation to support a build project for one of the Harrisburg area’s major nonprofit organizations.

    The Salvation Army Harrisburg Capital City Region will receive a $5 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation from Community First Fund for the construction of a new, multi-use service and worship center which will be located at 506 South 29th Street in Harrisburg. The new expanded location will allow the Army to provide vital human services to individuals and families living in each organization’s target area, which includes Dauphin, Cumberland, and Perry Counties. The services it provides includes food and basic needs assistance, self-sufficiency mentoring, and programs for children and youth.
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  • Posted on: March 20th, 2018

    Community First Fund and Impact Harrisburg Launch New Loan Fund for Harrisburg Businesses

    Harrisburg, PA (March 20, 2018) – This morning Community First Fund and Impact Harrisburg announced the launch of the Harrisburg Business Opportunity Fund, a new loan fund dedicated to supporting business and commercial development in the City of Harrisburg.

    The program was unveiled at a press event held at the headquarters of the Pennsylvania Housing Financing Agency (PHFA) in Harrisburg. Daniel Betancourt, President and CEO of Community First Fund, Sheila Dow Ford, Executive Director of Impact Harrisburg, and Brian Hudson, Executive Director and CEO of the PHFA, spoke at the event.

    Community First Fund, a regional nonprofit community development financial institution, approached Impact Harrisburg with the idea for this dedicated loan program last year. Both organizations collaborated to create a program that would support business and commercial development in the city’s disadvantaged neighborhoods.  Ultimately, Community First received a $350,000 grant from Impact Harrisburg and a $650,000 grant from the PHFA, through its wholly-owned subsidiary the Commonwealth Cornerstone Group, to establish the Harrisburg Business Opportunity Fund. It is hoped that every dollar granted will leverage additional private and government investment, and provide more financing opportunities for Harrisburg business owners.
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  • Posted on: January 18th, 2018

    Community First Fund Announces New Board Chair

    David Schankweiler

    David Schankweiler

    Lancaster, PA (January 18, 2018) – Community First Fund, a non-profit community development financial institution headquartered in Lancaster, announces the appointment of David A. Schankweiler as the new Chairman of their Board of Directors. Their most recent board chair, R. Eric Menzer, president of York Professional Baseball (York Revolution), will continue to serve as a member of the board.

    Schankweiler is the founder and past CEO of Journal Multimedia, a multi-media publishing and events company most known in the region as the publisher of the Central Penn Business Journal and Lehigh Valley Business. After leading and growing his company for over thirty years, Schankweiler sold Journal Multimedia in 2016. He has been a strong supporter of Community First and has served as a board member since 2010.

    “We are very pleased that David is taking on this new leadership role”, states Dan Betancourt, CEO of Community First Fund. “We have already benefited from his years of service on our board and look forward to working with him more closely as we continue to grow our organization.”
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  • Posted on: November 28th, 2017

    Community First Fund Receives Grant From Wells Fargo Foundation

    Lancaster, PA (November 28, 2017) – Community First Fund, a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) headquartered in Lancaster, PA, was recently awarded a $15,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation. This funding will be used to support the organization’s Small Cities Revitalization Strategy, which helps provide technical assistance and lending activities in cities throughout the 15-county region Community First Fund serves.

    This grant will allow Community First Fund to support the start-up and expansion of existing businesses, redevelopment of blighted and vacant properties, development of affordable housing units, and support of nonprofit organizations and vital community services in cities such as Allentown, Bethlehem, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading and York.

    Community First Fund has a long-standing partnership with Wells Fargo, including recently being a participant of the Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital program, which provides grant capital and loan capital for CDFIs across the country. Wells Fargo has also funded the Small Cities Revitalization Strategy efforts in the past, having supported the initiative for several years.

    “We are thrilled to continue working alongside Wells Fargo to improve our communities,” says Dan Betancourt, President and CEO of Community First Fund. “This $15,000 grant will allow us to continue supporting low-income individuals and communities in cities throughout our region by providing them with much-needed access to loan capital and technical assistance.”

    Representatives from Wells Fargo stopped by the Community First Fund office to present the grant check. Pictured from left to right: Michael Shultz, Sales Manager, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Franco Mazza, Lancaster District Manager, Wells Fargo Bank; Rachel Weidensaul, Business Development Officer, Wells Fargo Bank; Marybeth Snyder, Financial Advisor, Wells Fargo Bank; Joan Brodhead, Chief Operations Officer, Community First Fund; Scott Kuhn, Private Mortgage Banking Manager, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Keith Bookert, Vice President, Finance & Administration, Community First Fund; Patrick Curran, Area Manager Greater PA, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Laura Haffner, Regional President, Wells Fargo Bank.
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  • Posted on: October 11th, 2017

    Community First Fund Received $10 Million Investment from the US Treasury

    Lancaster, PA (October 11, 2017) – Community First Fund, a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) headquartered in Lancaster, PA, was recently awarded a $10 million investment from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund). This investment is part of the CDFI Fund’s Bond Guarantee Program, which provides long-term, fixed-rate capital for projects in low-income communities throughout our nation. Community First Fund was one eight CDFIs to receive the investment through the Opportunity Finance Network, the leading national network of CDFIs.
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  • Posted on: September 22nd, 2017

    Community First Fund Awarded $1.9 Million from the US Treasury

    Lancaster, PA (September 21, 2017) – Earlier this week, Community First Fund, a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), was awarded two grants from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) totaling $1.9 million. Community First Fund received one of the largest grants in the nation.

    The CDFI Fund awards are intended to help spur job creation and economic growth in communities across the country. Community First Fund was one of 303 organizations selected nationwide from a highly competitive grant application process, and one of only 8 recipient organizations in Pennsylvania. This is the sixteenth time the Lancaster-based economic development organization received an award from the CDFI Fund.
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