Community Development Activists and Financiers Join Forces to Invigorate Job Growth by Supporting Small Businesses

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The March for Jobs is the first-ever national campaign to raise awareness about job growth in our communities -- a virtual rally celebrating the American dream, entrepreneurship and, most importantly, job growth and retention at the local level. We created the March for Jobs because everybody, in all corners of the country, knows somebody looking for work. Visit http://www.marchforjobs.com and donate, advocate or share for jobs in your community.

Let's Get to Work on Going to Work!

Many successful small businesses are strapped for capital and some are even being forced to close simply because they or their lenders lack the capital they need to survive or expand. Unless we take action in support of local jobs, it is community-based growth that will suffer the most in this economy.

Unemployment is on everyone's minds these days, and many people don't realize that up to 80 percent of all new jobs come from small businesses. That's why a coalition of community development activists and financiers created the March for Jobs, an online rallying point for individuals and communities to champion the role of small business in job creation.

Joined by its network of lending partners, investors and community development organizations, Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) launched the March for Jobs in June 2009 to raise awareness of and support for small businesses and community lenders who need financial resources to help protect jobs, the lifeblood of stronger neighborhoods and communities. Since 1988, CRF has helped drive more than $1 billion in private capital to under-served communities, serving more than 190,000 individuals and creating or retaining more than 40,000 jobs.

"In the current economic climate, many successful small businesses cannot access capital to fund their growth initiatives," said Frank Altman, president and chief executive officer of CRF. "The result has been devastating to workers, with stagnant job growth - and job loss - in some of the most needy communities nationwide. The March for Jobs is an opportunity for anyone who's lost a job, knows someone who is out of work, or is a small business owner, to take a positive step toward improving the situation."

Banks alone have a limited ability to provide capital for all qualified businesses, many of which need more money than banks are willing to lend. National nonprofit groups like CRF and others involved in the March for Jobs can help fill this gap, as they are more nimble, socially oriented and responsive than banks.

"Community-based businesses and financial institutions are falling victim to the same credit crunch afflicting large banks," said Jim Baird, CEO and founder of Bay Area Development Company and a March for Jobs leader. "Many successful small businesses are strapped for capital and some are even being forced to close simply because they or their lenders lack the capital they need to survive or expand. Unless we take action in support of local jobs, it is community-based growth that will suffer the most in this economy."

The March for Jobs Web site allows activists, community leaders and civic-minded citizens to connect with each other and take action to support job growth. Site visitors can:

  • Donate to the March for Jobs. Each dollar helps finance loans to small businesses, affordable housing developers or community facilities (such as hospitals and child care centers) in neighborhoods across the country. All March for Jobs contributions are tax deductible.
  • Advocate on behalf of the March for Jobs. The campaign will send letters to elected and appointed government officials, urging them to support community-based job creation.
  • Share the March for Jobs with friends and neighbors. Visitors can become a fan of the March for Jobs on Facebook, follow the campaign on Twitter and join the March for Jobs group on LinkedIn. Then, supporters can invite their personal and professional contacts to do the same.

Visit the March for Jobs Web site at http://www.marchforjobs.com and help join the fight for jobs, community investment and economic opportunity.

About CRF
Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF), a nonprofit organization, is the nation's leader in bringing capital to public and private, nonprofit community development lenders through the secondary market for community development loans. Formed in 1988, CRF has injected more than $1 billion into low-income and economically disadvantaged communities around the country to help stimulate job creation and economic development, provide affordable housing, and support community facilities. CRF is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. http://www.crfusa.com.

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