Recently, Build Fund and King Park were featured on Off the Circle, an Indianapolis business podcast. We shared our commitment to transforming and revitalizing Marion County with a focus on Indianapolis. To accomplish this positive impact on our community, Build Fund fulfills niche needs in lending, specifically for businesses that have a difficult time obtaining a traditional loan through a bank.
As a community development financial institution (essentially a mission-driven bank), we can be more flexible with our terms, This has allowed us to provide lending and development services to 81 businesses since 2015. These lending projects range from $100,000 to $1 million and contribute to commercial real estate or equipment for our borrowers.
One of the aspects that Build Fund takes into account when evaluating a borrower is the impact that could be made on the greater community. Will they be rehabilitating a vacant building? Revitalizing a brown space? Overall, the business should contribute to the community at large. Some of our favorite success stories, like Cannon Ball Brewing and Tinker House, have already become local favorites and need to expand after only a few short years.
Included in the loan stipulations are job creation requirements. Generally, the businesses have one to two years to create these. In the loans that Build Fund has already closed, there are 148 job commitments with 106 of those already established. In working with other job-focused organizations, like the Edna Martin Christian Center or Recycle Force, we make sure that people who are trying to get their life on track have the first opportunity to get jobs in their own neighborhood.
We have pulled together great organizations that would otherwise be disparate. After a business receives a loan, some need further support. Even if we can’t provide it ourselves, we can direct them to someone who can. This has also contributed to our own success. While there are a number of moving pieces in what we do, Build Fund has brought together experts that we can rely on and trust, such as our diverse loan review committee and our board.
One of King Park’s board members, Jenn Lisak Golding of Sapphire Strategy, fell in love with the area and even bought a house there. Thanks in part, to Build Fund’s community development projects, her home has gone up 80% in value over the two years that she’s lived there.
“[King Park] went from one organization to supporting four different initiatives, and that takes an incredible amount of talent and work,” says Jenn.
Build Fund hopes to continue driving economic growth and contributing to comprehensive community development through our business services. If you want to get involved with us, feel free to reach out for more information about us or urban neighborhoods. If you’d like to start or expand your business through a Build Fund loan, you can start the process here.