NEW YORK – Small credit unions are becoming concerned that the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund may be eliminating its grant program aimed at small and emerging community development financial institutions, according to Cliff Rosenthal, executive director of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (NFCDCU). The Fund awarded small credit unions $1.07 million last year. Rosenthal, who is also chairman of the CDFI Coalition, met recently with Tony Brown, director of the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund, to open channels of communication between the fund and the coalition and gather data about pending changes to the CDFI program. The Treasury’s CDFI Fund provides money for technological improvements and capital to the nation’s CDFIs, a number of which are credit unions. Rosenthal stressed that none of the changes have been finalized, but he said the Fund appeared to be oriented toward “graduating” older and larger CDFIs into other government support programs. On the positive side, this change would mean that more resources might be available for the smaller institutions, but it also might mean small credit unions would have to compete for funds in a significantly larger pool, Rosenthal said.

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