October 01, 2009

WESST to Receive $500,000 to Increase Affordable Lending Access

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall today announced Women’s Economic Self-Sufficiency Team (WESST) in Albuquerque will receive $500,000 to provide access to affordable lending for low-income New Mexicans. The money is part of the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) program through the U.S. Treasury Department.

“WESST’s work to promote entrepreneurship by providing low-income New Mexicans with access to affordable lending is commendable and a great service to New Mexico. This new funding will allow WESST to offer additional services while spurring economic development,” Udall said.

In July, Udall’s office partnered with WESST to host a series of meetings in which participants were able to learn more about WESST’s distance learning program. WESST’s facility, which opened in January, already serves five area small businesses. The 37,000-square-foot Enterprise Center building meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and occupies a former Superfund site in a federally-designated Pocket of Poverty area of Albuquerque.

Through the CDFI funds, WESST provides lending capital and training and technical assistance related to entrepreneurial business development to a low-income targeted population in New Mexico.