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NEWS'

FOR$IMMEDIATE$RELEASE$
Contact:$Caroline$Grossman$$781.771.5579$$caroline.grossman@gmail.com$ Local Enterprise Assistance Fund 1330 Beacon St. Suite 355 Brookline, MA 02446 Phone 617 232-1551 Fax 617 232-9545 E-mail leaf@leaffund.org

LEAF$Receives$$100,000$from$U.S.$Treasury$Department$CDFI$Fund$to$Support$LEAFs$Work$to$Increase$ Access$to$Healthy$Food$Options$and$Stimulate$the$Local$Economy$in$LowTIncome$Neighborhoods$through$ Loans$to$CommunityTBased$Food$CoTOps$


New$study$on$social$&$economic$impact$of$food$coTops$finds$that$every$$1,000$spent$at$a$local$food$coTop$generates$ $1,604$in$economic$activity$in$the$local$economy$239$more$than$$1,000$spent$at$a$conventional$grocer$$ BROOKLINE,'Massachusetts'(August'2012)''Local'Enterprise'Assistance'Fund'(LEAF),'a'nonprofit'national'investment' fund'that'provides'financing'and'development'assistance'to'communityIbased'social'and'cooperative'enterprises,' announced'that'it'received'$100,000'in'technical'assistance'funding'from'the'U.S.'Department'of'Treasurys'Community' Development'Financial'Institutions'(CDFI)'Fundthe'maximum'technical'assistance'(TA)'award. TA'grants'are'unusual' in'that'recipients'have'significant'flexibility'in'how'they'can'be'used.'In'this'case,'the'funds'will'help'strengthen'and' expand'LEAFs'capacity'in'financing'cooperative'grocery'stores'that'bring'wholesome,'healthy'food'to'inner'cities'and' other'underIserved'communities.'LEAFs'project'was'one'of'only'33'selected'in'the'Technical'Assistance'category'after' a'competitive'review'of'116'applications'received'in'2012'by'the'CDFI'Fund'from'organizations'across'the'nation.' The'United'Nations'designated'2012'as'The'International'Year'of'Cooperatives'to'raise'public'awareness'of'the' invaluable'contributions'of'cooperative'enterprises'to'poverty'reduction,'employment'generation,'and'social' integration,'said'LEAF'Director,'Gerardo'Espinoza.'This'latest'CDFI'award,'the'fourth'competitive'CDFI'grant'that'we' have'received'over'the'last'three'years,'is'a'testament'to'the'important'role'that'LEAF'and'LEAFIfunded'cooperative' grocery'stores'play'in'building'healthy,'strong,'and'economically'vibrant'communities.'Indeed,'a'recent'study,' completed'on'behalf'of'the'National'Community'Grocers'Association'by'our'sister'organization,'The'ICA'Group,' highlights'the'significant'social'and'economic'contributions'that'coIops'bring'to'local'communities.'For'example,'every' $1,000'spent'at'a'local'food'coIop'generates'$1,604'in'economic'activity'in'the'local'economy$240'more'than'$1,000' spent'at'a'conventional'grocer.'' The'report,'Healthy(Foods(Healthy(Communities:(Measuring(the(Social(and(Economic(Impact(of(Food(Co<Ops,'includes'the' following'comparison'of'coIops'and'conventional'grocery'stores'(To'access'the'full'report,'visit:' http://strongertogether.coop/wpIcontent/uploads/2013/07/Healthy_Foods_Healthy_Communities.pdf')'
Food$CoTOp$Facts'(Average'members'per'coIop:'6,400)' Impact'Per'CoIop:'Annual'Sales'$10'Million;'60%'Sales'from'Members' $ CoTop$ Conventional$ Store$Size$ Total'square'feet' 15,000' 33,300' Staff'/'$1'million'sales' 9.3' 5.6' Sales'/'square'foot' $10.37' $8.55' Compensation' Average'hourly'wage$ $14.31' $13.35' %'Eligible'for'benefits' 68%' 56%' Local$Impact$ Purchases'locally'sourced' 20%' 6%' Local'suppliers' 157' 65' Economic'multiplier' 1.60' 1.36' Donations,'%'of'income'(cash)' 13%' 4%'

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Healthy$Foods' Organic'groceries' Organic'produce' Environmental$Impact' Energy'Star'rating' Metric'Tons'CO2'/'$1'million'sales' Plastic'recycled' Cardboard'recycled' Food'waste'composted'

' 48%' 82%' 82' 51' 81%' 96%' 74%'

' 2%' 12%' 50' 74' 29%' 91%' 36%'

LEAF'has'made'loans'to'more'than'15'communityIowned'grocery'stores'over'the'past'several'years.'Consumer'food' cooperatives'currently'account'for'43%'percent'of'LEAFs'investment'portfolio'and'have'comprised'its'fastest'growing' market'segment'for'the'past'decade.'Typically,'the'cooperative'that'LEAF'lends'to'is'by'far'the'best'source'for'locally' grown,'fresh,'and'minimally'packaged'food'products'in'the'coIops'community,'and'in'many'cases'the'coIop'is'the'only' such'source'within'reasonable'distance'for'its'consumer'members.'But'having'a'place'to'buy'fresh,'healthy'food'is'just' one'part'of'the'equationequally'important'is'providing'the'tools,'skills'training,'and'practical'knowIhow'to'build' community'capacity'and'enable'members'to'make'healthy'choices'and'take'advantages'of'available'resources.'Thus,' consumer'coIops'offer'a'broad'range'of'educational'resources'for'local'residents'including'cooking'and'nutrition' classes'that'reflect'the'cultural'and'ethnic'makeup,'tastes,'and'traditions'of'the'coIop'members.' Nearly'twoIthirds'of'LEAFs'loans'to'natural'food'cooperatives'are'to'grocery'stores'located'within'CDFI'investment' areas,'and'half'of'these'facilities'are'located'within'areas'designated'by'the'CDFI'as'economic'development'hot' zones.'(A'hot'zone'comprises'census'tracts'with'unemployment'rates'at'or'above'1.5'times'the'national'average,' poverty'rates'at'or'above'20'percent,'and'median'family'income'at'or'below'80'percent'of'the'area'median'income.)'' Despite'strong'market'growth'in'the'natural'food'sector'in'recent'years,'consumer'food'cooperatives'face'challenges' accessing'capital'to'support'growth'and'frequently'turn'to'LEAF'to'secure'gap'financing'not'available'locally.'While' LEAFs'mission'as'a'nonprofit'lender'is'to'help'build'economically'distressed'communities,'in'fact'with'an'onItime' repayment'rate'of'nearly'99'percent,'LEAFs'coIop'loan'performance'should'be'the'envy'of'any'commercial'lender.' About$LEAF$(Local$Enterprise$Assistance$Fund)$$www.leaffund.org$ A'nonprofit'organization'certified'by'the'U.S.'Department'of'Treasury'as'a'Community'Development'Financial' Institution,'LEAF'is'a'small,'highly'targeted'national'fund'that'provides'financing'to'community'healthy'food'projects,' residentIowned'manufactured'home'park'communities,'employeeIowned'businesses,'and'alternative'staffing'agencies.' Since'its'founding'in'1982,'LEAF'has'invested'and'leveraged'more'than'57'million'in'financing'to'social'and'cooperative' enterprises,'resulting'in'the'creation'or'retention'of'more'than'5,650'jobs.'Alternative'staffing'organizations'funded'by' LEAF'have'placed'8,700'lowIincome'people'with'limited'education,'skills,'and'work'experience'into'entryIlevel'jobs.'In' addition,'LEAF'has'developed'a'national'reputation'and'expertise'in'lending'to'consumerIowned'cooperative'grocery' stores,'a'sector'that'has'pioneered'the'practice'of'bringing'wholesome,'healthy'food'to'inner'cities'and'other'underI served'communities.'Over'the'last'three'years,'more'than'90'percent'of'LEAFs'transactions'and'87'percent'of'loan' dollars'have'gone'to'benefit'its'target'lowIincome'population.'LEAF'is'an'affiliate'of'The'ICA'Group,'Inc.,'a'nonprofit' venture'catalyst,'which'provides'technical,'business,'management,'and'financing'assistance'to'develop'employeeI owned'businesses'and'other'socialIpurpose'enterprises.' About$the$Community$Development$Financial$Institutions$Program$(CDFI$Program)$$www.cdfifund.gov$ Through'the'CDFI'Programs'Financial'Assistance'and'Technical'Assistance'awards,'the'CDFI'Fund'invests'in'and'builds' the'capacity'of'forIprofit'and'nonIprofit'community'based'lending'organizations'known'as'Community'Development' Financial'Institutions,'or'CDFIs.'These'organizations,'certified'as'CDFIs'by'the'U.S.'Treasury'Department,'serve'rural'and' urban'lowIincome'people'and'communities'across'the'nation'that'lack'adequate'access'to'affordable'financial'products' and'services.'Awards'are'granted'through'an'annual'competitive'application'process.'The'CDFI'Fund'has'awarded'more' than'$1.7'billion'since'the'CDFI'Fund'was'created'in'1994.'In'addition,'the'CDFI'Fund'has'allocated'$33'billion'in'tax'credit' authority'to'Community'Development'Entities'through'the'New'Markets'Tax'Credit'Program.'In'addition,'the'CDFI' Program'for'the'past'two'years'has'provided'supplemental'awards'to'highly'qualified'applicants'under'the'Healthy' Food'Financing'Initiative,'which'aims'to'increase'access'to'healthy'food'options'in'lowIincome'areas.'

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