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Seven Hawaiian Organizations Lead Latest Round of CDFI Awards

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In a recent announcement by Donna J. Gambrell, director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), 35 Native CDFIs and organizations received awards totaling roughly $11.85 million.

The 35 Native CDFIs span 17 headquartered in 17 states serve mostly rural communities that are home to economically distressed American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.

Gambell made the announcement at the 10th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention that was recently held in Honolulu, Hawaii. Seven Hawaiian organizations received awards according to a White House press release. The funds were made through the fiscal year 2011 round of the CDFI Fund’s Native Initiatives Financial Assistance Program (NACA).

"The awards announced [August 24] clearly demonstrate the successful growth of the Native CDFI movement across the country," Gambrell said. "We're here in Hawaii to celebrate this success and the seven awardees dedicated to economically empowering underserved Native Hawaiian communities."

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Senator Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, said he was “very pleased that these financial institutions are receiving the much needed support. The Native Hawaiian community was hit especially hard by the recession and these funds will help small business secure credit and create new jobs. The money will also help families find a home. I am very grateful that the President continues to help the Native people of his home state who are working hard to find stable financial footing.”

The impact on Hawaiian organizations at the meeting was addressed by Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, 1st District of Hawaii, saying “our country’s economic situation has been difficult for many of Hawaii’s families, especially those in our Native Hawaiian communities. I am pleased to join Donna J. Gambrell, director of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund in announcing more than $1.5 million in awards to help community-based financial institutions provide affordable loans and financial services to Native Hawaiian families, while promoting the growth of our local economy.”

So far this year nearly $35 million in funding has been dispersed from the FY 2011 round of the NACA program.