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Community Development Loan Funds (CDLFs) make up the largest sector of the community development finance industry, with more than 800 certified CDLFs. Ninety-eight percent of CDLFs are nonprofit, servicing mainly the small business sector, with the help of the CDFI Fund, the Small Business Administration, and, increasingly, mainstream banks. CDLFs venture into risky areas where others sometimes fear to go, yet they have high repayment figures and low loss rates.
This note provides the history and background of a set of financial institutions called Community Development Loan Funds. This note is intended as either a stand-alone backgrounder on the field or a note to accompany "Filling a Hole: The Reinvestment Fund and Progress Plaza" (UVA-ENT-0110).