Category: Uncategorized

Coffee, Cream and Community: Momentum Coffee & Coworking

Business in Chicago was forging along in the first quarter of 2020. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a “stay at home” order for the entire state effective March 21, bringing everything to an abrupt new reality. At that time, when attentions turned toward the preservation of public health and… Read more »

Pro Bono Assistance: Helpful and Responsive

Ed Sommer practiced law as a Financial Transaction Attorney with the Chicago-based firm Chapman and Cutler LLP for 36 years. During the course of his career, he worked on many types of negotiated debt transactions with a variety of different types of borrowers, lenders and credit providers, including Chicago Community Loan Fund. Although now retired,… Read more »

Growing Home Receives FHLBC COVID-19 Relief Grant

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago (FHLBC) offered a COVID-19 Relief Program consisting of zero-rate advances and grants to support all of its member institutions and the communities they serve as it responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. CCLF, as a member of the FHLBC, submitted an application for Growing Home, Inc., a nonprofit organization… Read more »

CCLF Borrowers Win CNDAs

On May 6 and May 7, Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago (LISC) presented the 26th Annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA) for the first time as a virtual event. Three CCLF borrowers were among this year’s award recipients. Accion Chicago and the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago earned The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for… Read more »

CCLF Administers the Cook County Community Recovery Fund

Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF) has been named administrator of the Cook County Community Recovery Fund, part of the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development’s Community Recovery Initiative. This fund is open to certain small businesses, “gig” workers and independent contractors located in suburban Cook County (outside the boundaries of the City of Chicago). Loans… Read more »

RFQ for the Chicago Neighborhood Rebuild Pilot Program

Chicago Community Loan Fund in partnership with the City of Chicago released a Developer Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Chicago Neighborhood Rebuild Pilot Program. Through this request, CCLF seeks Developers (including not-for-profit and/or faith-based organizations) with strong experience in rehabilitation and sale of single family and 2-flat properties, and a familiarity with overall South… Read more »

CCLF Joins In Community Recovery Fund Announcement

CCLF is working in partnership with local government to urgently get capital to small businesses and contractor workers through the Cook County Community Recovery Fund. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, CCLF President Calvin L. Holmes, and CCLF Chief Operating Officer/Executive Vice President of Programs Bob Tucker made the announcement Tuesday, April 7, 2020. This… Read more »

Affordable Housing: One Home at a Time

RPT Development Group, Inc. and Takeisha Washington are working hard to reshape Chicago’s affordable housing landscape. Washington, President of RPT Development, has a strong relationship with CCLF and has played an integral role in helping to rebuild and restructure Chicago’s neglected neighborhoods. Established in 2007, RPT Development is dedicated to the identification, acquisition, rehabilitation and… Read more »

Ribbon-Cutting Celebrates The New Mark Twain Hotel

The Mark Twain Hotel, a landmark property in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, reopened with much celebration March 6. Hosted by The NHP Foundation, the property’s reopening was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr., 48th Ward Alderman and Chairman of the city’s Committee of Housing… Read more »

Maywood Celebrates “Start of Construction” of Fifth Avenue Apartments

On a frosty day in February, the Village of Maywood was the site of renewal as local dignitaries, investors, developers and area residents gathered for a “Start of Construction” celebration of the forthcoming Fifth Avenue Apartments. Hosted by developer Interfaith Housing Development Corporation (IHDC), the event lauded the transformation of a long-vacant lot located at… Read more »

2019 In Review: A Year of Growth and Impact for CCLF

As 2019 came to a close, CCLF reflected on a very successful year that saw milestone growth in its operations and social impact. In June, CCLF reached $100 million in total assets and ended the year with $79 million in loans outstanding to 145 customers working to create communities where people thrive. In 2019, CCLF… Read more »

CCLF and Chicago TREND Debut $5 Million Investment from Fifth Third Bank

CCLF, in partnership with Chicago TREND, hosted a special event on October 24, 2019, to announce a new investment from Fifth Third Bank designed to finance strategic catalytic commercial development in Chicago. The first borrower supported by this funding is the Lillian Marcie Center for the Performing Arts, a new performing arts center and ancillary… Read more »

Coffee Giant Starbucks Invests in CCLF, Chicago-area CDFIs

Starbucks Coffee Company announced its plans to invest $10 million in four community lenders—CCLF, Accion Chicago, IFF and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)—to drive economic opportunity in Chicago. Starbucks’ investment is expected to help finance more than 500 loans to foster growth in small business, support community development projects and create more jobs in Chicago’s… Read more »

Salsedo Press: Print Revolution

Despite changing trends and preferences, the science of printing and print production has endured since Gutenberg first introduced the printing press in 1436. The industry continues to flourish in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood at Salsedo Press, Inc. Established in 1969, Salsedo Press is a minority-owned worker cooperative firm that offers core printing and finishing services… Read more »

Building For The Better: Greater Chicagoland Fellowship

Greater Chicagoland Fellowship (GCF) has a mission to provide affordable housing for low- to moderate-income individuals and families and help in revitalization efforts in Lake, DuPage, McHenry, Cook and Will counties. On a balmy morning in September, GCF put the finishing touches on a rehabbed, single-family home in Streamwood, Illinois, sold to a family of… Read more »

The Road To Righteousness

Emma’s House celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 28, 2019, announcing the opening of a new resource for women suffering from drug and alcohol abuse in the Austin community of Chicago. Named after Alderman Emma Smith, a staunch supporter of Emma’s House, the facility is a three-story mansion with 7 bedrooms and 5 baths… Read more »

Amped Kitchens Breaks Ground on First Chicago Location

Los Angeles-based CED Food LLC broke ground on its Chicago Prep project in July 2019, bringing Amped Kitchens to Chicago’s Belmont-Cragin neighborhood. Amped Kitchens, located at the former Zenith Electronics site in Belmont-Cragin, will be CED Food’s first location outside California. When completed, Amped Kitchens will offer 7,500 square feet of space with 64 kitchens… Read more »

Chicago’s Historic Daley’s Restaurant Relocates to CCLF/Chicago TREND -Financed Retail Space In Woodlawn Station

“Serving Woodlawn for over a century,” Daley’s Restaurant—Chicago’s oldest restaurant—has moved into its new, 21st century home in CCLF/Chicago TREND-financed retail space in Woodlawn Station. A mainstay for 126 years at 809 E. 63rd Street in the Woodlawn neighborhood, Daley’s moved across the street to its 5,900-square-foot space this summer in Woodlawn Station, located at… Read more »

CCLF Hosts Open House and $100 Million Asset Milestone Celebration

On September 26, 2019, CCLF opened its newly redesigned office and welcomed investors, borrowers, industry colleagues, supporters and friends to join in an Open House and $100 Million Asset Milestone Celebration. The evening included music, food, and engagement inaugurating CCLF’s expanded office space, redesigned to better serve Chicagoland’s communities. Nearly 200 guests joined CCLF’s staff… Read more »

Cara’s Role In The Chicago Rebuild Program

At exactly 8:30 a.m. on an early Tuesday morning in Chicago’s West Loop, positive energy and inspiration broke loose from a group of people and set the tone for a day—and for lives—of impact. It was Motivations, a morning ritual that takes place every Monday through Thursday at Cara—a nonprofit organization specializing in job training… Read more »

CCLF’s Annual Stakeholders Meeting Showcases Partnership and Support

A total of 82 investors, funders and supporters joined CCLF on June 13, 2019, for its Annual Stakeholders Meeting at The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. The audience gathered to learn more about the mission of CCLF and the work done in the past year to bring equity and change to low- to moderate-income communities… Read more »

Art Has a Home in Aurora

Approximately 1,000 area residents, supporters, and art enthusiasts converged on downtown Aurora, Illinois, June 1, 2019, for the official ribbon-cutting and open house of the John C. Dunham Aurora Arts Center. Attendees had a chance to tour the new facilities, participate in sample classes, and meet staff. Located at the corner of Galena Boulevard and… Read more »

CCLF-Financed Project Hits The New York Times

Inquiries from across the country have come in wondering how Chicago was able to merge public housing with the public library system. CCLF’s borrower, Evergreen Real Estate Group, did just that when former Mayor Rahm Emanuel sought bids to build public housing on top of a city library. Chicago now boasts three such projects where… Read more »

Join Our Team

Chicago Community Loan Fund is committed to Chicagoland. We seek team members equally committed to providing accessible financing, strategic partnership and support to build thriving neighborhoods. Join CCLF’s team! Visit our Careers page and explore our rewarding opportunities.

A Food Desert’s Departure: Jewel-Osco Opens in Woodlawn

Customers were in line at 6:00 a.m. waiting for the doors to open and a chance to shop the new Jewel-Osco at 6100 S. Cottage Grove Avenue in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood. “This store makes the whole neighborhood look brighter,” one customer in line said. “I’ll be coming here every day now.” The Woodlawn Jewel-Osco grand… Read more »

Chicago Public Library and Chicago Housing Authority Form a New Partnership

The Independence Library and Apartments, located at 3548 W. Irving Park Road, closed due to damage from a fire at the adjacent building in October 2015. Although transient, moving from place to place since the early 1900s, by 2015 the library served seven neighborhood schools within walking distance and was heavily used by area residents…. Read more »

TimeLine Theatre Company to Settle in Uptown

TimeLine Theatre Company has settled on a new home in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. CCLF provided $3,600,000 to Timeline Theatre Company for acquisition and predevelopment of a property built in the 1910s for a moving and storage company. The revitalization of this property aligns with TimeLine’s mission of bringing history to life and connecting the past… Read more »

Building Confidence Builds Homes

Empowered by a belief that “autism is not a condition, but rather, an intrinsic part of the individual with autism’s self-identity and personality,” Evanston, Illinois-based Rimland Services NFP delivers stability to those whose lives may face challenges. Founded in 1970, Rimland Services is the oldest agency in Illinois that serves the educational, vocational, and residential… Read more »

Woodlawn on the Rise

Bob Tucker, CCLF’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Programs, shared observations and explained CCLF’s role in the revitalization and renewal taking place in Chicago’s Woodlawn community with The Chicago Tribune’s Corilyn Shropshire. Click here to read the complete article, “Making A Comeback,” as seen in the Sunday, March 31, 2019, issue of… Read more »

CLTV Segment: CCLF Invests in the Community

CLTV welcomed CCLF’s Maurice Williams, Vice President of Economic Development, to discuss CCLF’s current endeavors in the network’s  Business Watch segment March 16, 2019.  Produced by Chaundanine Oluwole, the complete segment may be viewed here. Chicago Community Loan Fund is dedicated to doing its part in developing Chicagoland’s communities. For 28 years, CCLF has provided funds for developments like… Read more »

The Hatchery Opens With Ribbon-cutting Ceremony

A new start-up food business incubator opened December 6, 2018, bringing energy and enthusiasm to Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood: The Hatchery Chicago. Well-attended by culinary enthusiasts, community groups, U.S. Congressman Danny Davis, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago CEO Andrea Zopp, 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, 28th Ward Alderman Jason Ervin, and celebrity… Read more »

Benefit Chicago Commits to Repurpose Initiative

On December 11, 2018, Benefit Chicago, a social investment fund sponsored by The Chicago Community Trust, Calvert Impact Capital, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, announced that it would provide $5 million in financing to CCLF’s Repurpose Initiative. The Repurpose Initiative focuses on revitalizing shuttered Chicago Public School buildings on the city’s… Read more »

LUCHA’s Tierra Linda Housing Project Wins Social Justice Award

LUCHA received the 2018 Opportunity Finance Network’s (OFN) Social Justice Award during its annual conference held at the Marriott Marquis, October 8-11, 2018, in Chicago. Each year, OFN awards the OFN Conference Justice Grant to a nonprofit organization whose mission is consistent with OFN’s core purpose of aligning capital with social, economic, and political justice…. Read more »

U.S. Bank Pullman Community Center Makes Grand Debut

Thanks to the dedication of neighborhood leaders, local developers, and community-focused funders, Chicago’s Pullman Neighborhood has a new destination: U.S. Bank Pullman Community Center. The Center’s lively grand opening took place on November 8, 2018. Constructed on 12 acres of previously long-vacant land, the 135,000-square-foot Pullman Community Center is the largest multi-sport complex in the… Read more »

JPMorgan Chase Commits $10 Million to CCLF

CCLF’s mission of providing flexible financing that benefits low- to moderate-income neighborhoods received a substantial boost December 12, 2018, when JPMorgan Chase announced a $10 million long-term, low-cost investment to CCLF to support commercial real estate development on Chicago’s South and West sides. The announcement was made by Whitney Smith, Head of Midwest Philanthropy for… Read more »

2018: A Very Successful Year for CCLF

CCLF completed another very successful year as the Fund’s operational and social impact milestones continued to grow for the benefit of Chicagoland’s most vulnerable. In all, CCLF closed 32 loans totaling $21.5 million, which leveraged another $52.1 million. By year-end 2018, the number of housing units created or retained reached 267, commercial real estate and… Read more »

Timeline Theatre buys a new home in Uptown

On the day after the Chicago Plan Commission approved renovation plans for the Uptown Theater, the non-profit TimeLine Theatre Company was to announce Friday it has purchased for itself a new home at the Northern end of the rapidly emerging Uptown entertainment district.  Chris Jones of The Chicago Tribune featured the complete story. 

New loan program to repurpose shuttered CPS buildings

The complete story appeared in the December 11, 2018, edition of Crain’s Chicago Business. Click here to read the complete article by Alby Gallum. CCLF, a certified Community Development Financial Institution, will use its $5 million Benefit Chicago loan to launch the Repurpose Initiative which is an effort to breathe new life into five empty… Read more »

Grand Celebration Held for U.S. Bank Pullman Community Center Opening

Residents, neighbors, and celebrants gathered in Chicago’s historic Pullman Neighborhood Thursday, November 8, 2018, for the grand opening of the new, $20 million U.S. Bank Pullman Community Center. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel , 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale, 8th Ward Alderman Michelle Harris, representatives from the Chicago Cubs, the Roseland Youth… Read more »

LUCHA Celebrates Tierra Linda Opening with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

A spectacular September afternoon served as the perfect backdrop for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and community celebration as the Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA) unveiled the first Passive House affordable housing unit in its Tierra Linda project. Calvin L. Holmes, President, explained CCLF’s support for the project during the ribbon cutting September 27, 2018. LUCHA’s… Read more »

The Quarry: Respecting the past, impacting the future

A renaissance of art, culture, and community is taking place in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood. This reawakening is housed in The Quarry, a CCLF-funded event and entertainment venue honoring the best of the South Shore community’s influential past while inspiring the area’s future. This project is part of CCLF’s Activate Retail initiative. Yvette Moyo, Chief… Read more »

New Investments Help Grow CCLF Assets to $88 Million in the Third Quarter

  Wintrust Financial Corporation increased its $5 million investment by $1 million this quarter to help CCLF reach its goal of securing capital for the Chicago Neighborhood Retail Training Pilot Program (Rebuild). Rebuild is a new collaborative with the City of Chicago, Community Investment Corporation, the Cook County Land Bank Authority, CARA, and the Safer… Read more »

XS Tennis Hosts World Team Tennis Match, Welcomes Senator Durbin

Within a span of a few short weeks, CCLF borrower XS Tennis & Education Foundation was a flurry of activity, first hosting a World Team Tennis match on Chicago’s South Side then, a few days later, welcoming Illinois Senator Dick Durbin with a private tour of the facility.  XS Tennis is a CDFI Fund-supported project…. Read more »

Networking Event Launches CCLF’s New Cooperative Website

On July 26, 2018, CCLF and over 60 guests gathered to officially launch www.chicagocoop.net, a new website serving Chicagoland’s cooperative community and those interested in cooperative living. The event, held at the historic Supreme Life Building in Chicago’s Bronzeville community, offered attendees an opportunity to greet fellow cooperative residents, share success stories within Chicagoland’s co-op… Read more »

Urban Land Institute Honors DL3 Realty

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) awarded CCLF customer, DL3 Realty, a 2018 Community Impact Vision Award for its Englewood Square Retail Center in Chicago. Presented during the organization’s 7th Annual Vision Awards Ceremony in June, the Englewood Square Retail Center and DL3 Realty were recognized for serving as catalysts for revitalization in a community suffering… Read more »

CCLF’s Annual Stakeholders Meeting Showcases Vision in Action

Over 60 CCLF funders, investors and community partners negotiated severe storms to join CCLF staff and Board Members for CCLF’s Annual Stakeholders Meeting. Held June 21st at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the meeting highlighted CCLF’s influence in changing Chicagoland through its lending performance, financial performance and portfolio performance in underserved communities. Following a… Read more »

“Wall Raising” Ceremony Held for New Pullman Community Center

New beams were launched May 2, 2018, in Chicago’s historic Pullman neighborhood when celebrants gathered for a “Wall Raising” – a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Pullman Community Center. Representatives from the Roseland Youth Center, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI), and Chicago Community Loan Fund joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale, Chicago… Read more »