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District Announces First Co-Investment to Support Local Businesses

Thursday, July 16, 2015
Local grocer Good Foods Markets is first recipient; new program will support local job creation, provide greater access to capital for District small businesses.

The DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking today announced that Good Food Markets is the first to utilize the new District of Columbia Innovation Finance Program, an alternative to traditional commercial financing where the District co-invests with venture capital funds and community development financial institutions.

“By investing in Good Food Markets, we are putting a down payment on access to fresh food and increased job opportunities for District residents,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “This is another example of how my administration is supporting District small businesses, expanding economic opportunities for more neighborhoods, and creating greater pathways to the middle class.”

Good Food Markets is a neighborhood grocery store in the Woodridge area of DC that focuses on providing fresh, quality food to local residents in underserved communities.

The District matched half the $100,000 investment for Good Food Markets through City First Enterprises, a community development financial institution located in the District. The funds will be used for working capital, fixtures and equipment at Good Food Market’s fresh food retail store at 2006 Rhode Island Avenue NE in Ward 5.

“Startup funding programs that both value and understand our mission makes all the difference in Good Food Markets’ ability to provide innovative fresh food solutions in the District’s underserved communities,” said Kristoffer A. Garin, co-founder, Good Food Markets. “The support for Good Food Markets from the District of Columbia and the public-private partnerships makes us proud to be Washingtonians and excited to be launching this social enterprise in DC.”

The Innovation Finance Program is one of the programs designed by DISB as part of the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). Under SSBCI, the District uses federal funds to facilitate investments and private lending to local small businesses. The District’s investment in Good Food Markets is leveraging $1.60 in private sector capital for every $1 of government funds, including the investment from City First Enterprises as well as a cash collateral guaranty from Telesis CDE Corporation. 

“By connecting public and private capital for District small businesses, the city is breaking down barriers to capital and creating benefits for small businesses and communities alike,” said Stephen Taylor, acting commissioner of the DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking.

“City First Enterprises is excited to partner with the District and DISB in this new and exciting financial tool that supports worthy District small businesses such as Good Food Markets,” said Senior Vice President Robin Halsband of City First Enterprises. “This partnership is the first of many as City First Enterprises continues to equip mission-oriented, impact-focused businesses and nonprofits to promote healthy growth in the community. Whether tackling food deserts in underserved neighborhoods or preserving affordable housing throughout the city, our mission thrives through these partnerships.”

To view more information about the programs, visit DISB’s website.