Community Capital Fund
is a new twenty year old institution.
It was formed in 2005 through the merger
of two companies:
Bridgeport Neighborhood Fund, which has a two
decade history in Bridgeport, and Grow Bridgeport Fund,
which was estbalished in 1997.
Bridgeport Neighborhood Fund History
In February of 1986, a dedicated group of bankers and community leaders created Bridgeport Neighborhood Fund (BNF). BNF was established to respond to Bridgeport’s need for increased property investments and quality affordable housing by making loans available for housing projects that could not get conventional financing.
In 1987, BNF celebrated the success of its first loan for the rehabilitation of a six-family condominium conversion on Arctic Street in the east side of the city. Other projects soon followed.
BNF was the first bank-funded loan fund in the State of Connecticut and became a model for other funds around the State. During its first six years, BNF made approximately 50 loans to rehabilitate nearly 400 units of housing. These loans totaled more than nine million dollars, or an average of just under $200,000 each.
In 1991, Bridgeport’s economy began spiraling downward. Bank collapses closed the doors to many developers and eventually led to a moratorium on new lending for the period from 1993-1997.
In 1997, Bridgeport’s economic resurgence enabled BNF to enter a new bank agreement and resume its lending activity with a loan to the East Main Street Revitalization Association for the rehabilitation of 162-168 William Street known as “The George.”
In 1999, BNF met the eligibility requirements to be officially certified as a CDFI (a financing entity for community development). By 2000, BNF had more than $ 6 million in assets.
In 2003, BNF began to manage Grow Bridgeport Fund, an organization that provides nontraditional loans to small businesses. Later that same year, BNF secured a new loan agreement and continued to provide loans for the development of affordable housing.
In 2004, BNF officially incorporated Grow Bridgeport Fund, and engaged in a strategic planning process.
Before its 2005 merger with GBF to become Community Capital Fund, BNF concluded its two decade history by approving its first loan for an affordable housing development outside of Bridgeport.
Grow Bridgeport Fund History
The Grow Bridgeport Fund (GBF) was established in 1997 by public, private, and not-for-profit entities in order to promote community economic development by providing financing to Bridgeport’s small businesses and not-for-profit organizations.
The City of Bridgeport, along with the National Development Council, was instrumental in organizing GBF.
Between 1997 and 2005, the Fund made approximately 60 loans to various businesses and not-for-profits, including their first loan, Hosanna Ministry, Inc., a Bridgeport-based not-for-profit organization that provides residential drug rehabilitation services. Hosanna supports its operations through the sale of used clothes from its thrift shops and from the export of clothes overseas to Africa and South America. When the City’s redevelopment in the South End forced the ministry to relocate its warehouse and shipping operations, GBF’s loan enabled Hosanna Ministry to purchase property on the East Side of Bridgeport.
In 2000, with a grant from the State of Connecticut DECD, Grow Bridgeport Fund made its largest loan to Coastline Terminals to help restore the piers in Bridgeport.
Grow Bridgeport Fund also administered the Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund for the City of Bridgeport that provides developers of environmentally impacted properties with a low-cost, flexible financing mechanism and with the technical expertise to guide developers through the entire cleaning process.
In 2004, Grow Bridgeport Fund closed on a brownfield loan to BEDCO to remediate and demolish properties on Bunnell and Central Ave.