In November, IFF closed two loans totaling approximately $3.6 million for community-driven projects in the Midwest. We’ve included information below about one of the loans and what the nonprofit is doing with the capital. To learn more about IFF’s lending, visit our Capital Solutions page.
IFF closed a $3.317 million bridge loan for PODER that will enable the organization to move forward with renovations to a new headquarters facility in the Gage Park neighborhood on Chicago’s Southwest Side while conducting a capital campaign. PODER provides English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and workforce development training to adult, Spanish-speaking immigrants to increase their employment potential and facilitate their participation in the community following their arrival to the United States. The organization’s social enterprise, Oprima-1, provides clients transitional employment (in outsourced Spanish language customer service positions) before placing them in full-time employment with employer partners.
PODER’s new facility – which will contain 11 training rooms, eight offices, two conference rooms, and a community room where partner nonprofits will offer additional support services – will consolidate the organization’s programming from three locations to one, thus streamlining its operations and increasing its capacity. The project will also result in two new FTE jobs. IFF’s real estate team supported the project with a feasibility analysis, and additional funding and financing for the project was provided by the Chicago Community Trust, We Rise Together, and an allocation in the Illinois state capital bill.