Check out our top three reads of the week covering the challenges and opportunities of American communities. This week, we're reading about the life-expectancy gap, worker cooperatives, and the link between housing and family stability.
In Cincinnati, LISC’s one-to-one matches for Kiva loans to local entrepreneurs are producing some sweet results. An article in Soapbox Cincinnati tells the stories of creative area women, including a gourmet carrot cake baker, who have grown their businesses thanks to the no-interest, no-fee—but big impact—loans.
An article in The Wall Street Journal details a creative program to help neighborhood bodegas update their look and stock, and keep pace with demand as new, younger clientele moves in. Together with longtime partner Cypress Hills Local Development Corp, LISC is spearheading the "Commercial Corridor Challenge," supporting small businesses to prosper—not flounder—as demographics change.
Mark Zaitona, who immigrated from Iraq 20 years ago, has created three grocery stores—in Flint and Detroit, MI, and now in Toledo, OH—that bring fresh food, quality jobs and commercial vitality to communities deemed food deserts. An ABC news story profiles his latest enterprise and features Toledo LISC's Kim Cutcher (LISC has invested in two of the stores), who brought an $800,000 below-market loan to the project.
After acing a LISC Boston entrepreneurship program two years ago, Dr. Lesa Dennis-Mahamed opened a business she'd dreamed about–and that her neighborhood needed. Gallery Eye Care, already a beloved community institution, has brought optometry, low-cost eyeglasses and an art exhibition space to low-income Roxbury.