|WASHINGTON, D.C. – DC Green Bank and the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) announced the closing of an innovative $1,000,000 joint venture to support the delivery of dozens of new solar installations and energy efficiency retrofits for small businesses and community-serving organizations across Wards 5, 7, and 8.
Community borrowers can apply for loans ranging from $25,000 – $250,000 with repayment periods as long as 10 years, with larger loans possible on a case-by-case basis. The $1,000,000 venture will be capitalized by $900,000 from DC Green Bank and $100,000 from LEDC.
The partnership will unlock much-needed capital in a tough economic climate for community-serving institutions, including small businesses, child development centers, assisted living facilities, houses of worship, grocery stores, self-service laundry facilities, restaurants, beauty salons, and more critical organizations across District neighborhoods.
Loans can be used for all elements of an intended project, including design, engineering, installation, and construction, in pursuit of renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades as well as sustainable building standards like LEED.
Unlike traditional financial institutions, which assess loan applications based solely on credit scores, this joint venture will determine borrowers’ ability to repay through a holistic approach, increasing equity and expansion opportunities for borrowers that may be excluded from identifying financing elsewhere.
Eli Hopson, CEO of DC Green Bank, said of the joint venture, “We are proud to partner with an organization like LEDC that has a long track record of delivering impact and increasing the financial strength of entire communities. One of our core values is Inclusive Prosperity, and that means everyone in the District should have the opportunity to thrive and benefit from renewable energy and the Clean Economy. Like-minded partners like LEDC bring our message and mission into new communities, and we are excited to get to work.”
Renewable energy and energy efficiency projects like those funded through this partnership will deliver immediate utility bill savings, increase cash flow for small businesses and community-serving organizations, and save them money over the long term. Many efficiency upgrades, including implementing lighting and water upgrades, pay for themselves in just a few years and deliver lasting savings that can be repurposed to invest in business or service expansion.
With energy and financing costs escalating rapidly across the country, partnerships like this will serve as a lifeline to community organizations and catalyze a green economic recovery across the District. Emi Reyes, Chief Executive Officer of LEDC, said of the partnership, “DC Green Bank will serve as a powerful ally as we work to expand the benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency to underserved communities. As we seek to expand economic equality, particularly during these times, we want other organizations and small businesses in the District to understand that we are here to help them not only survive but rather thrive.”
DC Green Bank and LEDC are in discussions to identify additional opportunities to invest in line with their overlapping missions.