Newark, NJ, Oct. 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The New Jersey “40 Acres and a Mule” Fund (NJ “FAM Fund”), a private investment vehicle established to reduce socio-economic disparities resulting from systemic racism, announced today a partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s (LISC) Black Economic Development Fund (BEDF) to enable co-investment opportunities in New Jersey.
LISC is one of the U.S.’s largest Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) investing in communities of opportunity across the country. LISC’s private fund investment arm, LISC Strategic Investments, manages the pooled-capital Black Economic Development Fund, which targets investments in Black-led developers, businesses, banks, and anchor institutions to help close the racial wealth divide and create generational wealth for Black communities. With 38 local offices that reach more than 2,200 counties in 45 states, LISC co-invests with a vast network of community-based funding partners, which will now include the NJ FAM Fund.
“Supporting minority businesses is imperative and we are thrilled to be a part of this partnership and to continue supporting local opportunities,” said George Ashton, Managing Director, LISC Strategic Investments. “The partnership will amplify efforts to improve access to capital for Black businesses and strengthen economic opportunity for Black communities in New Jersey.”
Launched in 2020, the rapidly growing NJ FAM Fund is a collaboration of eight New Jersey cities: Orange, East Orange, Paterson, Camden, Trenton, Irvington, Atlantic City, and Newark. In this short time, the fund has received hundreds of proposals from local entities seeking funding for projects ranging from real estate development to local small businesses spanning multiple sectors.
“The growth of the NJ FAM Fund and participation from partners like LISC is a testament to our well-timed focus on meeting the needs of Newark and other communities that have been underserved for far too long,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “This partnership will be a tremendous tool for our business community, and we are incredibly grateful for this generous support.”
“The NJ FAM Fund is thrilled to partner with an exceptional CDFI that is committed to Black businesses throughout New Jersey,” said Bernel Hall, Founder and Managing Partner, NJ FAM Fund. “With LISC’s investment, we will help diminish the racial wealth gap and inequities exacerbated by systemic racism and the pandemic.”
According to the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, the median net worth of New Jersey’s white families is $309,000, while the medians for New Jersey’s Latinx and Black families are just $7,020 and $5,900, respectively—one of the worst racial wealth gaps in the nation. The objective of the NJ FAM Fund is to close these gaps by giving minority business owners access to more capital and resources.
The LISC partnership follows the NJ FAM Fund’s first private equity investment from a Fortune 500 company, Bank of America, announced in May 2021. The NJ FAM Fund is co-managed by minority principals in partnership with New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), the state’s largest CDFI that has been investing in New Jersey’s communities for over 30 years. NJCC is providing oversight and administrative support for the NJ FAM Fund.
About Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business, and raise families. Since 1979, LISC has invested $24 billion to build or rehab more than 436,320 affordable homes and apartments and develop 74.4 million square feet of retail, community, and educational space. LISC Strategic Investment (SI) leads LISC’s private, national, and place-based impact investment funds, community investment accelerators, and venture fund investments. The investment pools sponsored by LISC are available only to eligible investors, are offered only pursuant to their official offering documents, and are managed by LISC Fund Management, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of LISC. LISC Fund Management is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
For more information on LISC visit https://www.lisc.org/
For more information on LISC Strategic Investments and funds visit https://www.LISCStrategicInvestments.org
About the Black Economic Development Fund (BEDF)
The BEDF is an impact investment fund built specifically to address economic challenges in Black communities and to help close the racial wealth gap. The fund targets Black-led financial institutions, businesses, and anchor institutions with the goal of growing these organizations and strengthening their contributions to Black communities. The fund deploys capital across a diverse set of industries, borrowers, and geographies in the US. The BEDF is managed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Strategic Investments team and LISC Fund Management, LLC, a LISC affiliate.
For more information on the BEDF, please visit https://www.liscstrategicinvestments.org/black-economic-development-fund
About The New Jersey 40 Acres and a Mule Fund (NJ FAM Fund)
The NJ FAM Fund is a first-of-its-kind private investment vehicle focused on making equity and debt investments in Black and Latinx businesses located or doing business within the State of New Jersey, and transformational real estate projects within New Jersey’s Black and Latinx communities. The NJ FAM Fund intends to raise $100 million in investable capital to make opportunistic investments in scalable, value-add small businesses and real estate projects that will scale and reduce the wealth, health, and social disparities that exist within Black and Latinx communities when compared to the general population of the State of New Jersey. The Fund will raise capital through both charitable contributions and investments from financial institutions and corporate partners. The NJ FAM Fund will operate as a private investment vehicle with assistance from broad public support. https://njfamfund.org/