Bridges Spring 2017

Bridges is a quarterly review of regional community and economic development issues, projects and regulatory changes for practitioners from community-based organizations, as well as for Community Reinvestment Act officers, academics and government of

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I N D E X T H E F E D E R A L R E S E R V E B A N K o f S T . L O U I S | C E N T R A L T O A M E R I C A ' S E C O N O M Y S P R I N G 2 0 1 7 CRA—An Examiner's Perspective: Train for Results! 5 7 8 10 Does College Level the Playing Field? Entrepreneurship and Re-entry: Aspire Entrepreneurship Initiative C D A C S P O T L I G H T Back to the Future: Financial Capability in Social Work Practice >> continued on Page 3 FIGURE 1 Shelby County, Tenn., Census Tracts by Income Level Memphis & Beyond: Assessing the Market for CRA Investment By Nidia Logan-Robinson, Ian Nunley and Rachel Knox O n the precipice of the 40-year anniversary of the Community Reinvestment Act (CR A), Innovate Memphis and the Community Devel- opment Council of Greater Memphis partnered to research the current market for CR A investment and sug- gest recommendations for capitalizing on new opportunities in Memphis. e goal of this research was to find strategic opportunities for partnerships and investment tools with local finan- cial institutions that are subject to the requirements of the CR A. For lenders, improved application of CR A funds can both fuel community development and trigger further investment. e research included interviews with both long-standing and up-and- coming local for-profit and nonprofit developers, government agencies and nonprofit stakeholders. Additionally, the Innovate Memphis team con- ducted a scan of peer cities, seeking to understand the strength of their local urban development portfolio and prevalent CR A investment and lend- ing tools, and to better understand what factors have led to improved local community development infrastructure. Our recommendations focus on strategies and tactics for cultivating a more progressive and collaborative community development pipeline in Memphis. e city should invest in infrastructure that fosters coop- eration among financial institutions, adds capacity and training to bring new tools to the market, develops the skills to use the tools with precision, and increases the lending viability of borrowers.

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