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The National Development Council’s Grow America Fund announced that it has received a $5.5 million low-cost loan and operating grant from Bank of America to expand its energy efficient retrofit financing programs for 20 small businesses across a diverse array of industries in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, DC.

“We are thrilled to be the recipient of this grant from Bank of America that goes beyond mere check-writing but in developing and delivering a program that is putting dollars to work in a way that will directly impact local communities and measure the outcomes,” said John Palyo, President of The National Development Council’s Grow America Fund.

Grow America Fund is one of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) selected to participate in Bank of America’s $55 million Energy Efficiency Finance Program announced last spring. The program will enable CDFIs to finance the upfront investment costs for building owners in low-income communities, bringing to scale innovative, local programs, providing energy efficient retrofits or improvements to buildings, contributing to local job creation and reducing overall energy usage. It also will reduce the carbon emissions from these residential and commercial buildings, which account for nearly 40 percent of all primary energy consumption in the United States. The energy cost savings realized over time will create cash flow to repay the loan.

“Older properties consume far more energy and typically have higher utility costs than newer buildings, but they make up the majority of our real estate inventory in our country,” said Jeff Barker, New York president for Bank of America. “We recognize the Grow America Fund for developing innovative solutions to address barriers that have kept many property owners from financing important energy efficiency upgrades that will help save energy and money, as well as create jobs in low-income communities and reduce carbon emissions as these retrofits get underway. I am pleased New York City is one of the cities targeted to benefit from our combined investment. ”

The Grow America Fund has created or retained over 9,500 jobs, primarily in low income communities in New York City and throughout the country. The Bank of America Energy Efficiency Program provides a powerful financing tool that will add to job growth in New York City. “Through our hands-on technical assistance, including an energy audit, we will encourage local businesses to consider energy costs and the impact energy savings could have on their business” said John Palyo.

The Grow America Fund (GAF) is a certified CDFI and a wholly-owned subsidiary of The National Development Council, the nation’s oldest non-profit founded to increase the flow of capital for investment, jobs and community development to underserved urban and rural areas across the country. GAF carries out NDC’s mission through small business finance and capacity building services. GAF makes loans that are 75%-90% guaranteed by the SBA and is the nation’s only Small Business Administration licensed small business lending company (SBLC) owned and operated by a nonprofit organization. In its 19 year history, GAF has made 404 loans totaling more than $128 million.