The Northland Foundation’s Business Finance Program recently secured a $300,000 low-interest loan from the Calvert Foundation. Calvert does not award grants but rather invests in Community Cevelopment Finance Institutions (CDFIs), loan funds, microfinance institutions, affordable housing developers, and social enterprises. The Northland Foundation is a certified CDFI. In addition, the M&I Community Development Corporation approved a $500,000 loan to extend Northland’s business lending to Superior and Douglas County, Wisconsin.
“With the troubled economy and tighter commercial credit market, there is an increased need for businesses and community organizations to find alternative sources of flexible financing,” said John Elden, Northland Foundation’s Director of Business Finance.
“To meet growing demand, loan fund capitalization is a top priority for us right now,” continued Elden, “and the money from Calvert and M&I will be exceptionally helpful.”
The Minnesota Thrive Initiative received renewed statewide funding support from The Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation. A $100,000 grant will support third-year implementation activities in the six Thrive pilot locations in Greater Minnesota. Thrive was established by the Northland Foundation and the five other Minnesota Initiative Foundations in response to community concerns about early childhood mental health, defined as the healthy social and emotional development in children ages five and younger. Local Action Teams at each of the six sites are working to create stronger networks of services to support the healthy social and emotional development of young children ages birth to five.
This fall, the Duluth-Proctor-Hermantown Thrive Action Team launched a pilot project in collaboration with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Early Education and Development (CEED) and eight early care and education sites. The Miller-Dwan Foundation generously provided a $25,000 grant to help underwrite this exciting initiative.
Referred to as the Reflective Practice model, the project connects child care site staff with a local consultant who in turn works directly with CEED to help each site shape best practices to meet the individual social and emotional development needs of children in their care. Together the participating sites engage nearly 50 early care and education professionals who serve more than 160 young children.