In February 2021, NIIF partnered with Opportunity Fund, the nation’s largest nonprofit small business lender, and Baltimore Development Corporation to deliver loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in NIIF Eligible Investment Area neighborhoods.
Opportunity Fund will provide loans throughout the City, and NIIF will support Oppotunity Fund with up to $3 million in low cost financing to fund any loans in NIIF-eligible neighborhoods. Baltimore Development Corporation and its community partners are providing application assistance as part of the effort. Applicants can request technical assistance, including language assistance, from BDC and community partners at https://www.baltimoretogether.com/technical-assistance-form
As part of its response to the COVID-19 crisis, Opportunity Fund has focused on helping the smallest and hardest-hit businesses access the PPP loan program. During the first round of PPP in 2020, the fund made made over 1000 PPP loans with an average loan size of less than $15,000 compared to the national average of $73,000.