In today’s economy, launching and maintaining a small business is a challenge for anyone – but in our region’s poorest neighborhoods, a scarcity of financial services and support makes it nearly impossible. WACIF is dedicated to filling the void and fostering healthy, community-based economic development where it is most needed. Its Small Business Assistance Program targets low- to moderate-income entrepreneurs (particularly in DC's Wards 7 and 8), providing them with access to capital, one-on-one technical assistance, entrepreneurial training workshops, Loan Days events with local banks, and more. Below-market interest rates and flexible underwriting criteria open doors for clients who would otherwise be denied. Meanwhile, capacity-building support greatly increases their ability to grow, thrive, and ultimately “graduate” to mainstream financial institutions. While primarily focused on small businesses, WACIF has also helped develop and preserve more than 1,500 affordable housing units and 44 community organizations in the Washington area. Your support enriches communities, empowers entrepreneurs, and lifts up our local economy – a wise investment, indeed.