Annual Report 2021: A Year of Growth

A Message from our President & CEO, Lenwood V. Long, Sr.

Friends and Family of The Alliance, 

It is with great pride that I present to you our first annual report, showcasing our work and impact in 2021. My sincere thanks to you for being a part of our incredible journey. Despite an extraordinarily challenging business environment, your dedication, generosity, and support helped us mark incredible achievements. We simply can’t say it enough: you are a huge factor in our accomplishments and future success. 

Since the founding of the Alliance in 2018, we have worked on building the foundation of our work by being unapologetically aspirational for wanting the best for our communities. We believe in redesigning systems to benefit those who are most marginalized. Closing the racial wealth gap is at the root of what we do. To that end we have worked to elevate the great and impactful work that Black-led CDFIs are doing in their communities and addressing their barriers to success. In this annual report, you’ll see that we now count 64 members from across the nation – strong Black leaders working together to build powerful administrative, economic, and human resources in their communities. We received multiple grant awards from organizations who believe in the work that we do, helping us to build administrative capacity, member-centered programs, and economic resources for Black-led CDFIs. It goes without saying that the ability to attract resources on this level is a testament to the individual and collective power of our growing family. To help us design an actionable path forward, our board, members, staff, and other invested stakeholders, underwent a 14-month intensive process to develop our three-year strategic plan. This year we launched the strategic plan to prioritize and center the needs of Black communities in our work. Our goal is to build a future where Black-led CDFIs are resource-rich and unrestricted in their ability to be catalysts for economic mobility, prosperity, and wealth building for Black families and communities. Rooted in an analysis of the nature and impact of economic exclusion of Black-led CDFIs, Black families and Black communities, and the multitude of interventions required to close the racial wealth gap, we are guided by three pillars: Building Capacity, Building Bridges, and Building Power, which we will highlight in more depth through this report. We’d like to thank you again for all that you are and all that you contribute. With your invaluable input, we will outperform expectations this year, building capacity, competitive skills, and empowerment bridges, for a better future.

Be Steadfast! 

Lenwood V. Long, Sr.

President & CEO, The Alliance

Check out our 2021 Annual Report: A Year in Review

The Alliance Releases PPP Impact Report

Our world changed in 2020. We have been through the unprecedented. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused economic turbulence across the world, and small businesses were unexpectedly affected. The pandemic revealed financial fragility within the small business community by shining a light on challenges faced by Black-owned small businesses and access to capital.

Historically, Black-owned businesses are more likely to seek, and less likely to receive capital for their business. Nearly three of four Black business owners say investment in Black-owned businesses still trails white- owned businesses (Businesswire). And the state of these businesses has only worsened. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Black-owned businesses’ health. While 58% of Black business owners report their businesses being in trouble, just 27% of white business owners say the same.

As a result, the federal government unveiled the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in 2020 to provide small businesses with funds to cover payroll, mortgage, rent and utility expenses. Thanks to the PPP program, 12 of our members were able to deliver a combined >$4.4 Billion in PPP loans to support small businesses that were impacted by the pandemic.

As you follow along, you will read more about the impact that our members have made in their communities, because we are committed to supporting and advocating for the growth of Black communities and Black executives leading Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).

Check out the Alliance’s PPP Impact report.