NEW YORK — Two noted Community Development Credit Unions have been have been named as semifinalists for the NEXT Awards For Opportunity Finance. The awards are sponsored by Wachovia Bank, funded by the John and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and include opportunities for low-cost loans and grants.

The two CDCUs are the $285 million ASI FCU, headquartered in the New Orleans area and the $20 million Lower East Side People's Federal Credit Union (LESPFCU), headquartered in New York City. The two are competing for prizes in different categories so they are not competing head to head, according to the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.

Should it win, ASI FCU could receive a $5 million below-market loan plus a $500,000 unrestricted grant. LESPFCU stands to win a $2.5 million in below-market loans plus a $250,000 unrestricted grant., according to the federation.

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