Challenges facing the communities LISC serves
LISC is in close, daily contact with thousands of community-based partners working on the front lines of this crisis, and they are our best intelligence on the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Americans who were economically vulnerable before the pandemic now face an even more uncertain future. Many have lost their jobs and don’t know where their next paycheck will come from. Those who still have jobs – many of which cannot be performed remotely – struggle to find childcare and safe, reliable transportation. Although costs such as federal student loans may be deferred, and foreclosures and evictions may be suspended, these expenses must be paid eventually. This means mounting debt for people who were already treading water financially long before COVID-19 reached our shores.
Many small businesses forced to shut down temporarily are at serious risk of closing permanently. These enterprises are the lifeblood of communities, providing critical goods and services as well as jobs to locals. Unfortunately, many already operate on narrow profit margins. With no revenue coming in and little or no reserves to pay their expenses, many will have no choice but to lay off workers and close their doors forever. Small businesses desperately need emergency assistance to bridge the gap and stay afloat until the crisis passes.
Community organizations that people turn to in times of need lack sufficient resources to keep up with skyrocketing demand. These groups are not only called upon to serve more people; they must also operate in a new way, delivering services remotely to ensure everyone’s safety. Efforts to help people meet longer-term, aspirational goals – for example, training for a new career or saving to buy a home – must be put on the back burner. The focus now is on meeting residents’ basic needs such as through emergency rental assistance, access to food and child care, and help applying for unemployment.
How the LISC Fund will help communities bounce back
To assist small businesses to stay afloat and to support community organizations to meet unprecedented client demand, the LISC Fund will provide grants and patient, flexible loan capital to meet the following expenses:
- Rent and utilities
- Outstanding debt to vendors
- Upgrade technology infrastructure for remote delivery of services
- Emergency cash assistance for clients most in need
- Other immediate operational costs
In addition to financial resources, small businesses and community organizations will need to employ new tactics around marketing, finance, technology and human resources. LISC will provide technical assistance to help our partners hone the skills to do just that.
The impact we aim to achieve
Up to $100 million will be raised and invested in urban and rural communities across the U.S.
Hundreds of small businesses will benefit from an infusion of financial resources to help them stay afloat.
Through our local partners, thousands of residents will be assisted with rent, food, child care, and other basic needs.
Why partner with LISC
- Our 40-year track record of deploying financial resources and technical expertise to catalyze opportunity for the people and places that will be most disrupted by this pandemic.
- A strong web of 2,500 local partners nationwide who know their communities and how to deliver resources quickly.
- Three decades of experience in disaster recovery with a proven ability to be nimble, creative and effective in times of crisis.
Ways to give
To help us reach our $100 million goal for the LISC Rapid Relief and Resiliency Fund:
- Contact Beth Marcus, SVP of Development, at email@example.com.
- Make a secure online donation here.
Major contributors to date
- Verizon: $2.5 million grant + a social media challenge to generate up to $2.5 million more
- U.S. Bank: $500,000 grant