ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2015 - (Page 31)

FEATURE > COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT rural communities Investing in strong The right mix of resources, critical partnerships and creative thinking can spur economic revival in financially battered rural areas. bY sUZANNe ANArDe w hen it comes to community development, rural America seems to have a bit of a split personality. On the one hand, bucolic, tight-knit towns are lifted by hard work and resilience. On the other, communities torn by job loss and decline find themselves among the most difficult places to live in the country. Our job at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation is to help bring those pieces together, building the capacity of nonprofits to meet local needs, assembling capital to finance projects and offering expertise on a range of economic development issues to help local leaders create new opportunities for residents. To date, that has meant nearly $15 billion of community development investments nationwide, including $300 million for rural communities. You don't have to look far to see why this is so important. Start in New England, where amid the rolling hills of the Maine highlands, you come to the town of Dover-Foxcroft. It's home to hot air balloon races and the state's annual whoopie pie festival- and it has been hit hard by the loss of manufacturing jobs and the often-toxic land that industrial plants have left behind. Unemployment here approaches 12 percent. Community leaders have worked tirelessly to revive the local economy. PHOTOS COURTESy OF LISC Building on the first to recover from the second can be a massive, long-term undertaking. It requires innovative partnerships that bring new housing, businesses and jobs to long-distressed areas, while also considering the health and education needs of the people who live there. This isn't just about philanthropy; rural America needs the kind of lending and investing that is both good for business and good for communities. aba.com/BankingJournal | ABA BANKING JOURNAL 31 http://www.aba.com/BankingJournal

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2015

CHAIRMAN'S VIEW
UPFRONT
PICTURE THIS
ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
POISED AND PROACTIVE ON THE FARM
MEETING CUSTOMERS WHERE THEY ARE
INVESTING IN STRONG RURAL COMMUNITIES
ABA COMPLIANCE CENTER INBOX
OPERATIONS
BANKS IN INSURANCE
REAL ESTATE LENDING
BOARD MATTERS
INVESTOR PERSPECTIVE
LEGAL BRIEFS
FROM THE STATES
COMPLIANCE
INNOVATIONS IN SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

ABA Banking Journal - September/October 2015

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