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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Agencies Release List of Distressed or Underserved Nonmetropolitan Middle-Income Geographies

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have released the 2014 list of distressed or underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies, where revitalization or stabilization activities will receive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration as “community development.”

“Distressed nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies” and “underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies” are designated by the agencies in accordance with their CRA regulations. The criteria for designating these areas are available on the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) website. The designations continue to reflect local economic conditions, including triggers such as unemployment, poverty and population changes.

The current and previous lists can be found on the FFIEC website, along with information about the data sources used to generate the lists.

Accion Loans for Fresh Food Initiatives

Accion is offering business loans designed to support fresh food entrepreneurship in retail, packaging and innovation. Fresh! loans range from $500 to $250,000, with interest rates from 7.5 percent to 15 percent. The financing is for startup and established businesses, which can be legal for-profit or nonprofit organizations. The operations of the business must be in a food desert or in a county considered persistently poor. The Fresh! loan can be used to:

  • market a new healthy product;
  • purchase refrigeration for mobile food retailers, wholesalers and distributors;
  • support expansion of fresh produce in convenience stores and grocers with refrigeration, freezers and equipment; and
  • acquire startup and acquisition capital to create healthy food stores or products in a food desert.

For more information, visit

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