Growing an Inclusive Economy in Greater New Haven
from STEPPING FORWARD SPECIAL EDITION OF CONNECTIONS
Before the pandemic, the economy was growing but economic growth in Connecticut has been too slow for too long. Additionally, economic growth has been extremely uneven, bringing most of the benefits to the highest income earners while leaving people with middle and lower incomes behind.
The Foundation will promote inclusive growth by:
- Supporting career pathways and workforce training.
- Supporting minority and women entrepreneurs.
- Creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports new startups and emerging ventures.
Mission Investing, Equitable Entrepreneurship and Small Business Loans
In 2017, The Foundation created The Community Foundation Mission Investments Company (TCF-MIC) as a wholly-owned subsidiary. TCF-MIC supports The Foundation’s inclusive growth strategies by investing in small businesses owned by women and people of color and by helping to build an equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem in Greater New Haven.
The organizations funded by TCF-MIC investments typically lack access to a variety of resources including social connections and networks, financial backing, transportation and other structural or financial barriers. TCF-MIC is working to build the infrastructure support that will help entrepreneurs overcome these barriers and grow a pipeline of new businesses that create financial stability for their owners and employees.
When COVID-19 struck, lockdown restrictions threatened Julie Robbins’ massage therapy and wellness clinic, The Well for Women. The Well has managed to survive, however, with the support of a low-interest loan from The Partnership Loan Program for Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses in New Haven and the Lower Naugatuck Valley, which is funded by TCF-MIC.
“The New Haven Partnership Loan provides a solid foundation that allows me to make strategic financial decisions, provide new training for my employees, and leaves me well-positioned for the unknown effects of COVID-19 in the coming winter,” says Robbins. “I'm incredibly grateful, and would highly encourage other local businesses to apply while it is still available.”