CLIMB Fund Announces $2.85 Million Grant from Treasury Department

CHARLESTON SC – This week the CLIMB Fund announced a $2.85 million award from the US Department of the Treasury’s Equitable Recovery Program (ERP). The CLIMB Fund is a not-for-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides access to capital for disadvantaged entrepreneurs across all of South Carolina. The ERP award will allow the organization to deepen its focus and expand resources in the state’s most marginalized communities.

The $2.85 million ERP award was the result of a competitive grant application process, which was only open to CDFIs who could demonstrate a strong track record of lending in disadvantaged communities over the past five years. The funds will be used to increase the CLIMB Fund’s small business lending in ERP eligible census tracts, which are low-to-moderate income and saw severe COVID impact through substantial loss of life or increased unemployment. Additionally, the CLIMB Fund will use a portion of the funds to help applicants become “loan ready” through new resources to help with business planning.

“This is a transformational award for us and the communities we serve,” said CLIMB Fund CEO, Cindi Rourk. “We could not be more proud to have a record of impact that qualifies us for these funds and the confidence of the Department of the Treasury to deploy them in a deeply meaningful manner.”

The CLIMB Fund’s $2.85 million was the second largest among the 10 ERP awards issued in South Carolina to various banks, credit unions, and loan funds.  Nationally, over $1.7 billion was awarded to 603 mission-driven financial institutions.

Last year the CLIMB Fund made 128 small business loans worth $5.2 million in 17 South Carolina counties; 60% of which were made to minority-owned businesses, 34% to woman owned businesses, and 19% to veteran owned businesses. Common businesses funded by the CLIMB Fund include food trucks, daycares, salons, fitness studios, and many more iconic local small businesses.

The CLIMB Fund is a state and federally certified CDFI whose mission is to leverage capital in support of social and economic justice.  It has made over 800 loans in its 44-year history helping to create over 1,100 South Carolina jobs and currently has 273 active loans worth $12.7 million.  To learn more, visit


For questions or more information, contact Cindi Rourk, CLIMB Fund CEO at 843-973-7298 or