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Investment Connection Highlights Maryland Programs

Attendees watch a presenter at an Investment Connection Pitch Session

The Richmond Fed hosted an Investment Connection Pitch Session recently to showcase projects and initiatives that serve low- and moderate-income communities and individuals across the nine rural counties that comprise the Maryland Eastern Shore.

The Bank’s Community Development team facilitates the Investment Connection program to help nonprofits, economic development organizations, funders and bankers establish relationships that can lead to collaborations that meet community needs. Participating organizations get to share a specific initiative that might meet a particular financial institution’s funding goals, resulting in an impactful partnership. Each proposal accepted to the Investment Connection Funders Portal has been deemed potentially eligible under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to serve low- to moderate-income individuals (at or below 80 percent of their area's median income), small businesses, or distressed or underserved communities.

During the Bank’s April 26 program in Cambridge, Maryland, seven organizations presented diverse proposals to an audience that included bankers, local economic development directors and community stakeholders. In addition to the 30 people that attended in person to hear the live pitches, a virtual audience participated. This was the first time that the Investment Connection program was hosted as a hybrid event.

The participating organizations were Maryland Capital Enterprises Inc., Lower Shore Shelter, Mace's Lane Community Center Inc., Mid-Shore Pro Bono Inc., Habitat for Humanity of Wicomico County, Maryland Rural Development Corporation and Parents' Place of Maryland.

The proposals they pitched included a small business assistance program, transitional housing for the homeless, affordable home construction, a pre-weatherization and emergency home repairs initiatives, a new community service facility and a legal assistance program that supports families in securing the documents needed to ensure that residential properties stay in their family.

Both the organizations and funders left the event better informed about potential opportunities for financing and collaboration.

“This was one of the most engaged audiences we ever hosted for Investment Connection,” said Richmond Fed Community Development Manager Peter M. Dolkart, who organized the event. “We had the dual benefits of having people in the room engaging the presenters with thoughtful questions while at the same time providing broader exposure to these projects to an audience outside of the Eastern Shore region. It’s a great model for the future.”

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