Dealflow | September 19, 2018

LISC launches U.S. small-business venture to lend in all 50 states

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, September 19 – A growing number of financial instruments are targeting the 80% of businesses that are underserved by traditional debt and venture capital.

The latest is from the Local Initiatives Support Corp., or LISC, which is launching a new small business lending initiative that will roll out in all 50 U.S. states.

The new initiative, called immito (which is Latin for “to launch or send forth”), aims to issue $100 million in loans annually to small businesses in under-invested communities. “Nothing catalyzes opportunity in a community like new businesses launching and expanding,” said LISC’s Maurice Jones in a statement. Immito will focus in particular on sectors that have strong job creation and growth potential, like small manufacturing.

Immito is being established as a non-bank Small Business Administration lender, operated by LISC. It will be one of only 14 such licensed businesses in the U.S.

LISC already invests about $1 billion per year through its various activities, like affordable housing lending and property rehabilitation financing. It is also planning to leverage its 40-year track record in low-income community investment and engagement to raise a series of opportunity funds.

Immito, meanwhile, marks a significant geographic expansion for LISC, which has more than 30 sites and reaches 1,400 counties in 44 states.