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Buffalo, N.Y., impact fund raises $8 million

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s push to spur private investment with public funds is paying off.

The Western New York Impact Investment Fund has raised (paywall) $8 million from community and national foundations and private investors to back projects in the Buffalo area, from social startups to environmental-cleanup bonds.

Investors are already active in the depressed region; more than $19 billion in economic-development projects are slated for Western New York.

Backed by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, the fund was based on a study with the Heron Foundation to survey demand for impact investing in the region.

Investors include the the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, the John R. Oishei Foundation, the Seymour H. Knox Foundation, private investors Thomas Hunt and Andrew Rudnick, and RP Oak Hill Building, a construction-management company.

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