“All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.”

Senator Robert Kennedy said this in 1967, and it is still true today. We often believe that our time is unique, but the challenges and opportunities we face are regrettably the same. At Grow America (formerly NDC), we are more committed than ever to finishing the work of ending racial and economic inequality. We must never forget the promises we have made.

We are entering a sustained phase of growth and groundbreaking innovation, which brings new capabilities and resources that are already shaping our future.

In 2022, we:

  • Became one of only nine CDFI members of the New York Federal Home Loan Bank.
  • Received an “A+ Stable” rating from Standard & Poor’s.
  • Received an “Investment Grade” CDFI credit rating from Aeris.

These achievements open the way to new pools of capital to deploy across the entire range of our investment and financing programs. Some other major milestones for us:

  • We were selected by the U.S. Department of Commerce to organize, lead, and manage the Communities of Practice initiative for EDA Revolving Loan Funds.
  • We expanded our lending products to include a continuum of flexible loans with equity accretion features for businesses of all sizes.
  • We designed and launched the Supporting Emerging Empowered Developers (SEED) Academy to train BIPOC developers in every aspect of development, including financial training.
  • We were designated as fund managers of two state business loan programs in Washington and Connecticut.
  • We continue to be a lending partner in programs in NY, CA, NV, CT, DE, OH, FL, GA, TX, WA, UT, and Metro St Louis.
  • We expanded our self-directed online professional education programs to offer new classes and certification opportunities to practitioners in the community development industry.

We also saw unprecedented growth across our legacy programs. We provided record levels of service to small businesses in low/moderate income communities, financed social infrastructure projects, advised municipalities and non-profits on community development, developed and invested in affordable housing, and trained housing and economic development professionals.

Our look back wouldn’t be complete without taking stock of how COVID-19 changed the world and our organization. Our growth and innovation were driven by the pandemic’s impact on our communities and the resulting delays of progress. Our mission was tested like never before. I’m so proud of how we rallied as an organization and how quickly we adapted to serve our communities.

Now, we can once again focus on ongoing, sustainable service. We have more partnerships and supporters than ever before, and together we are stronger in our common mission. We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our staff, the wisdom of our board, and the support of our partners. Together, we are committed to achieving social and economic equity across all communities in the country.

While we take stock of successes last year, we are focused on the future—to move forward with great hope and optimism for what’s next.

Daniel Marsh III