The Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) has established the LISC Rapid Relief and Resiliency Fund to assist small businesses and community organizations hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

Maurice A. Jones
Maurice A. Jones

Officials say the new fund will provide immediate and longer-term resources in three critical areas:

· Small business support—The organization notes that small businesses are at a high level of risk and need fast access to grants and patient, flexible capital in addition to help connecting with government assistance;

· Organizational support for its community-based partners—By providing its partners with grants, working capital, and other assistance, LISC aims to help them stay functioning and strong, and enable their communities to weather this crisis with emergency rental assistance, help applying for unemployment aid, and other supports; and

· Access to technology—LISC’s support will help ramp up technological infrastructure, improve broadband access and cybersecurity, provide technical assistance for groups using meeting and other communications platforms, and more.

LISC seeks to raise up to $100 million in grants, loans, and other investments for the fund. Verizon has stepped up with a $2.5 million investment that will fuel LISC grants of up to $10,000 for small businesses in need of capital. U.S. Bank has also provided a $500,000 grant to assist community-based partners and small businesses.

The fund was announced by Maurice A. Jones, LISC CEO and president.