While the federal government does not provide grants for starting or growing small businesses, it does provide a myriad of services to assist entrepreneurs in pursuit of their dreams. One of the mechanisms in place to promote small business growth and economic development is the Community Development Financial Institution Fund managed by the US Department of the Treasury. In the current fiscal year the federal government is allocating more than $12 Million to support CDFIs.
Community Development Financial Institutions fall into four categories:
The genesis of the Community Development Financial Institution Fund was the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994. The reason for the fund's existence is to foster economic revitalization and community development.
The Bank of America Merrill Lynch themselves, Social Finance Inc., New York State, the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), the U.S. Department of Labor, Chesapeake Research Associates, and The Rockefeller Foundation come together to address recidivism by training and employing ex-inmates.