National Bank of Arizona (NBAZ) generously signed an agreement for $100,000, 10-year Equity Equivalent (EQ2) CDFI investment in Growth Partners Arizona (GPAz) . EQ2 investments allow Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) to strengthen their capital structures, leverage additional debt capital, and, as a result, increase lending and investing in economically underserved communities. For bank investors in particular, the EQ2 can help banks meet Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requirements.
Growth Partners has been on National Bank’s radar since 2016, when GPAz was interested in becoming a CDFI. NBAZ, which is a division of Zions Bancorporation, made a grant to support what was then the Nonprofit Loan Fund’s CDFI application process. After becoming a CDFI, Growth Partners Arizona changed its name and added small business loans to its mix of loan products.
“We appreciate Growth Partner’s mission of helping small business borrowers who are not yet bank ready,” said Kathy Pechman, Corporate CRA Manager for National Bank of Arizona, and Senior Vice President of Zions Bancorporation. “As a CDFI, Growth Partners can help small businesses become bankable over time.”
“As a CDFI, we’re committed to identifying and reducing hurdles to economic inclusion, so that all people have the opportunity to fully participate and no one is left behind,” says Growth Partners Arizona Executive Director Lesli Pintor. “Bottom line, this is about economic development and social justice, where all businesses can grow and create jobs, and communities are revitalized.”