The U.S. Department of the Treasury has awarded $1.8 million to Brunswick-based Coastal Enterprises Inc. to expand its community lending and economic development work.

CEI was one of 196 community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, across the country that received $185.7 million in grants and loans from Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, according to a news release from CEI. The awards, based on a competitive application process, have enabled CDFIs to increase lending and investment activity in low-income and economically distressed communities across the nation since the program was established in 1994.

Over 80 percent of CEI’s lending activity targets low-income people and communities, through loans that support low-income entrepreneurs and business owners as well as companies that create jobs, affordable housing units, childcare slots, and health care for people and regions that qualify as low-income. Since 1997, CEI has received a total of 14 awards from the CDFI Fund.

With Wednesday’s announcement, the CDFI Fund crossed the $2 billion threshold in collective investments to CDFIs through the CDFI and Native American CDFI assistance programs, bringing capital to low-income, distressed and underserved communities and areas of persistent poverty. A total of 457 applications was received, requesting more than $675 million under this round of the CDFI program.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

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