Dream Loan Fund

Minimizing Barriers for Neighborhood Microenterprise and Entrepreneurs


“We’re excited to support the Port Authority through this fund, to invest in neighborhood commercial corridors throughout the City of Cincinnati. We believe mixed-income, mixed-use communities are a platform to greater economic mobility in America’s cities by combining integrated housing strategies with neighborhood based entrepreneurship. The Port Authority is demonstrating how coordinated investments in housing combined with smart economic development can achieve far more than either strategy could alone.”

Aaron Seybert, Social Investment Officer, Kresge Foundation


 

The DREAM Loan Fund (Driving Real Estate to Accelerate Microenterprise) focuses on revitalizing neighborhood business districts and minimizing barriers for neighborhood entrepreneurs. DREAM was born out of a partnership with The Kresge Foundation. The fund targets neighborhood business districts as part of our Vision 2022 which aims to comprehensively revitalize disinvested target neighborhoods. Our Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy focuses on acquisition and rehabilitation of blighted residential properties in conjunction with redevelopment of neighborhood commercial districts with place-based, neighborhood-serving retail, arts and culture, and microenterprise.

Why is it so important?

What makes up a thriving neighborhood? While REACH (Rehab Across Cincinnati and Hamilton County) focuses on elevating the housing in target neighborhoods, DREAM focuses on the commercial business districts that comprise the other component of a thriving community.

10 years - neighborhoods

Among the program goals are:

  • Minimize barriers for neighborhood entrepreneurs by providing available space for target tenants
  • Stabilizing neighborhoods through the support of entrepreneurship
  • Restoring vibrant retail and commerce with a focus on inclusivity and engagement of neighborhood-based enterprise

Impact to Date

The partnership of The Kresge Foundation and the Redevelopment Authority represents the first time this kind of investment has happened ever in the United States between a traditional finance agency and an impact-interested foundation.

DREAM Loan funds provide much-needed capital to projects that help nurture local microenterprise. A program goal is to identify and ready minority enterprises to participate as tenants in neighborhood business districts where the Redevelopment Authority targets public and private investment. Developers interested in DREAM loans should contact Robert Sanders – rsanders@cincinnatiport.org.