Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union has partnered with Community Teamwork, Inc. (CTI) to launch the Acre Catalyst Fund, a new collaborative project that will enhance business and entrepreneurial opportunities within Lowell’s Acre neighborhood. This initiative comes at a critical time given the impact COVID-19 has had on small businesses in the area.
The Credit Union has committed $200,000 to the Entrepreneurship Center @CTI to capitalize an economic development initiative. The Entrepreneurship Center @CTI offers a broad range of business services. The Acre Catalyst Fund compliments the Center’s programs by making loans available to entrepreneurs, new and current Acre businesses, and businesses seeking to locate to the Acre, one of Lowell’s most impoverished neighborhoods.
“The Acre is more than a neighborhood to us,” said Mark S. Cochran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union. “This is where our organization began, and it’s still our home today. We have a responsibility to provide resources that can help neighborhoods thrive and give residents a pathway to economic opportunity. As a Working Cities Challenge member, the Credit Union is pleased to collaborate on this effort.”
The Acre Catalyst Fund is part of the Working Cities Lowell Initiative, a partnership between 13 local organizations, including Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union and Community Teamwork, Inc. that work to improve the Acre.
“This is a signature project for the Working Cities Lowell partnership, as it accomplishes our main objective of connecting residents and business owners in the Acre to resources and economic opportunities,” said Shaun McCarthy, Initiative Director at Working Cities Lowell.
In addition to loan capital, entrepreneurs and businesses that are part of the program will receive business and financial counseling and other supportive resources to help guide them in their business ventures. Applicants must meet specific criteria to be eligible.
“Community Teamwork Inc. and the Entrepreneurship Center @CTI are grateful to be included in this innovative partnership,” said Franky Descoteaux, Director of the Entrepreneurship Center @CTI. “Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union’s generous commitment of $200,000 in micro-loan funding offers a critical financing tool that will support entrepreneurship and small business growth in Lowell’s Acre neighborhood. This partnership is also a testament to the Working Cities Lowell team and its ability to foster collaboration among private and non-profit partners to advance community goals and opportunity.”
For more information regarding The Acre Catalyst Fund visit www.GrowYourBusinessatCTI.org.
Those who do not receive a loan will be connected to other community resources and organizations for support. Businesses looking to apply or to find out more about the Acre Catalyst Fund should visit www.GrowYourBusinessAtCTI.org
Photo cutline: The Acre Catalyst Fund is a new collaborative project as part of Working Cities Lowell that provides businesses and entrepreneurs in the Acre neighborhood with funds and other support to start or expand their business ventures.