CDFA Launches New Loan Program to Help Communities Advance Economic Development Projects

The New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority today announced the launch of a new loan program to help communities and nonprofit organizations advance local development projects from concept initiation and planning to funding and implementation.

The Predevelopment Loan Program offers loans for ‘predevelopment’ activities such as studying the feasibility of renovating a downtown building, gathering public input on a project idea, developing a business plan for a new facility, creating architectural drawings, or seeking planning and zoning approval.
“We created this program to provide low-cost capital for early exploration of a potential project,” explained Kevin Peterson, CDFA’s director of economic development. “We tested the concept with a pilot program and found there is demand for this kind of early ‘risk capital’ to help take a project from an idea to something more tangible. Our hope is to increase the pipeline of bankable economic development projects in New Hampshire communities.”

Loans of up to $100,000 are available. Eligible projects must stand a reasonable chance of being financed and initiated within two years.

During its pilot phase, CDFA provided a $24,000 predevelopment loan to support the historic assessment of a historic mill. The building is central to the community’s downtown economic revitalization plan and the assessment would set the stage for a capital campaign to support critical renovations. These resources have enabled the organization to move forward more quickly and solidify a case for large-scale financing to complete the project. Currently, there are almost no resources in New Hampshire available to support this transition.

The end result of an upfront investment in exploration and resources: a renovated building that anchors downtown rejuvenation.

“This is just the kind of assistance that many organizations would welcome to kick-start their projects,” stated Janet Ackerman, member of CDFA’s Board of Directors and experienced leader in New Hampshire’s financial institution sector. “Too many good projects are unable to get off the ground due to a lack of resources for predevelopment efforts. We look forward to this program having positive impacts on those potential projects that are ultimately a catalyst for additional economic development efforts and job creation in the heart of the community.” 

“We will be tracking the impact of predevelopment loans over time,” noted Peterson. CDFA will use data from borrowers to modify the program to ensure it continues to fill this critical financing gap.

CDFA has allocated $500,000 for predevelopment loans. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Pre-application consultation with CDFA staff is required. Program guidelines are available on CDFA’s website here.

CDFA also provides grants for early assessment or analysis of the feasibility of a project idea through the Community Development Block Grant program. Grants of up to $12,000 are awarded on a competitive basis, with two application deadlines per year (April and October). Feasibility grants can support income surveys, preliminary architectural and engineering design, cost estimates, and market analysis related to a potential housing, community infrastructure or economic-development project. The applicant must show that a minimum of 51 percent of the proposed project’s beneficiaries will be of low- or moderate-income. Details on the Community Development Block Grant program can be found here.

A list of frequently asked questions about when to apply for a feasibility grants and/or a predevelopment loan is located here.

For more information on the Predevelopment Loan Program, please contact Kevin Peterson, CDFA’s Director of Economic Development, at 603-226-2170 or by email at

To learn more about CDFA, its impact on New Hampshire communities and available funding resources, visit

About the Community Development Finance Authority 
The Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) is a statewide nonprofit public authority focused on maximizing the value and impact of community development, economic development and clean energy initiatives throughout New Hampshire. The organization leverages a variety of financial and technical resources, including the competitive deployment of grant, loan and equity programs. Those resources include New Hampshire state tax credits, federal Community Development Block Grant resources and the CDFA Clean Energy Fund. For more information about CDFA and its programs visit or call 603-226-2170.

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