Making Loans to Improve the Lives and Economic Well-Being of Arizonans

Initiative Program Related Investment
Grantee Partner Growth Partners Arizona
Lesli Pintor (former GPAz Executive Director) with Michael Martinez, Executive Director of the Live Theatre Workshop, a GPAz loan recipient.

Growth Partners Arizona (GPAz) is a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Its mission is to provide accessible, fair and responsible loans and support to Arizona nonprofits as well as to small businesses. Since 2014, GPAz has loaned more than $5 million to economically under-served areas throughout Arizona, with no loan losses to date. GPAz’s vision is to achieve economic justice through forward-thinking, collaborative and inclusive approaches to capital access in Arizona.

In addition, GPAz isn’t only about providing individual loans. It’s ultimately about making capital available to those who don’t have it or can’t get it. That’s what being a CDFI means.

Liberty Partnership Kino Neighborhoods Council (LPKNC), a nonprofit organization in Tucson focused on prevention of substance use and misuse, promoting mental health and wellness, and preventing suicide, is the recipient of a GPAz loan. LPKNC has been especially challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted the ability to be face to face in classrooms, libraries and parks, and recreation centers when the need for its services increased significantly.

Jamal Givens, President and CEO of LPKNC, says, “We’ve had to respond to the changes quickly, and Arizona Growth Partners was there when we needed a loan to cover expenses until we were reimbursed for a significant grant. The grants that we get for prevention work are normally cost reimbursement where we have to spend the money first and then get reimbursed for our services. It’s challenging for a young nonprofit to have that kind of money already in the bank.”

About working with GPAz, Jamal says, “The loan process was simple. I also truly appreciated that this was a local organization that I felt safe working with. The loan from GPAz has allowed us to help people understand the harmful effects of substances, support people with mental health challenges, and prevent suicide in our community.”

Economic justice … means fighting for financial capital to reach all people and communities. Financial capital is the fuel that drives economic opportunity.

Lisa Mensah, CEO, Opportunity Finance Network (national association of CDFIs)

Capital access remains the most important factor limiting the establishment, expansion, and growth of minority-owned businesses (MBEs)

Kimber Lanning, CEO, Local First Arizona