WBD, Inc. Continues Sponsorship of CRA Network in 2019-20

WEDA has received very exciting news that the WBD, Inc. Board of Directors voted to continue the statewide sponsorship of the CRA Network of Wisconsin as outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in May, 2018.   Of the six MOU measurements, the only measurement not met was total number of banks as paid WEDA members.  WEDA has 17 banks as members of the CRA Network and the measurement was 20 banks.

The CRA Network has completed one year of operation and has been gaining traction in each of the six regions.  The focus of the CRA Network business model is to help communities, developers and businesses advance their projects, while making banks aware of the CRA eligible activities of each of the submitted projects. 

Our local economic development members can use the CRA Network as a method to organize a meeting with multiple banks to see deal flow that may not be part of your existing banking relationships. 

As an association, WEDA has been advocating for policies and tools that advance CRA eligible projects. Now, our membership demographics and services are matching our current and past advocacy efforts involving breaking down silos and involving all sectors of getting a deal to market (private sector, community and financing). 

Since the launch of the CRA Network, WEDA has taken several efforts to build out the organizational capacity to meet the targeted measurements. Some key items in the past year include:

  • October – November 2018: Fall regional luncheons held
  • January 2019: Video created explaining CRA Network membership
  • February 2019: CRA Officer/Bank Member elected to the WEDA Board
  • February 2019: Hired Mike Harrigan as contracted Project Recruiter for the southcentral, southeast and northeast regions. 
  • March 2019: Proposed “Performance Context” service to assist intermediate and small banks with the data collected by bank examiners
  • April – May 2019: Spring regional luncheons held

Sponsorship Measurements – Need Your Participation

In 2019 – 2020, WEDA needs our general membership to be fully engaged in the CRA Network to meet our measurements for sponsorship renewal in 2020-2021 year. 

Here is how you can become involved in the CRA Network: 

  • Call the WEDA Office with questions on a potential project
  • Refer projects to your CRA Network Project recruiter, if the capital stack for the project has bank financing and maybe located in a priority area (e.g. TIF, redevelopment), low to moderate income census tracts or are benefiting that same population.
  • Attend the free regional meetings. The registrations are open.  The meeting will discuss the financing needs in each region as part of the CRA Network Performance Context Service.