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Financial Services Market Survey of the Black Hills: Tell us YOUR Story

Black Hills Community Loan Fund, Inc. receives CDFI Certification from the Department of Treasury, CDFI Fund

September 20, 2017

Black Hills Community Loan Fund Inc. (BHCLF), a non-profit 501(c)(3) located in downtown Rapid City, SD has been awarded Community Development Financial

Institution (CDFI) Certification from the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund. BHCLF is a member of a group of CDFI’s who are in a specialized sector of the economic development environment, which provide access to a variety of pioneering financial services and products to those who are typically underserved by traditional financial institutions. Some of the unique services CDFI ’s provide are access to capital for first time and low-income home buyers, micro-loans for startup entrepreneurs, savings assistance for college students, or business and budget coaching. CDFI’s include federally regulated institutions such as community development banks and credit unions, as well as non-regulated institutions such as loan and venture capital funds. These organizations are sparking job growth, revitalizing communities, as well as investing in human capital in the hardest to reach populations in the country.

CDFI certification is a designation conferred by the U.S. Treasury CDFI Fund and is a requirement for accessing financial and technical award assistance from the CDFI Fund through the CDFI Program, Native American CDFI Assistance Program, and certain benefits under the Bank Enterprise Award Program to support an  organization's established community development financing programs. BHCLF is one of just four urban Native CDFI's in the nation. Onna LeBeau Executive Director said, "The CDFI Certification is crucial for BHCLF to continue providing financial opportunities in the form of financial education, commercial loans, home loans and soon small business loans to community members within the Black Hills region."


Black Hills Community Loan Fund Inc. has been providing services to the region since 2010. BHCLF is comprised of a dedicated team all working to create financial opportunities for economically disadvantaged families who aim to strengthen their financial future in the Black Hills Region. For more information, contact Onna LeBeau, Executive Director at 605-519-5124 or olebeau@bhclf.org or visit their website at www.bhclf.org.

The Black Hills Community Loan Fund is conducting an area-wide (Rapid City and the Black Hills) market survey of financial services vendors and activities to determine the availability of credit and financing for
low- to moderate income individuals and families. Working with Sweetgrass Consulting, of Ft. Collins, Colorado, the Fund is surveying community members within the Rapid City and the Black Hills area; collecting information on the range and types of financial services available to residents wanting to build or improve their credit, purchase or rehab a home, or start a small business.

“Once telephone and other survey activities are completed, a full final report will be presented which will give us a detailed picture of the financial service activities in the Black Hills area”, said Executive Director Onna LeBeau. “We will take and use the information to focus our marketing and outreach activities to a range of partners and service providers, and we will seek to identify low- to moderate individuals and families in Rapid City and surrounding communities who might be interested in our loan
products for credit building and repair, and for home ownership, home rehab/repair and energy-
efficient appliance purchase.”

If you would like to participate in the survey (and entered in a drawing to win a $100 VISA gift card!), please visit the below link and complete the survey. A full report on the results of the market study will be made available to community members and partner organizations.

Click below to complete the survey!


Great Western Bank

Onna LeBeau, Executive Director of Black Hills Community Loan Fund, Inc.

“Black Hills Community Loan Fund, Inc. is a non-profit loan fund and an emerging Native Community Development Financial Institution located in Rapid City, SD. We’re very appreciative of the grant provided by Great Western Bank’s Making Life Great Grant. BHCLF offers financial literacy courses as well as various loan products to individuals in and around Rapid City. The products we have developed are specifically designed to meet the needs of our community members and include debt consolidation, consumer loans, energy efficient home appliance loans, and gap financing in the form of down payment and closing cost loans. We are eager to utilize the grant to further strengthen the financial foundation of the underserved population in the Black Hills Area.”

    Black Hills Area Community Foundation
June 3, 2016 · 

On Wednesday morning we were honored to attend a Grant Awards ceremony hosted during the 10 Year Anniversary Black Hills Area Community Foundation Celebration! This is now their third year of conducting a competitive grant making process. They honored 13 deserving organizations that are represented were each represented during the ceremony.  BHACF also recognized the philanthropy and generosity of their many donors that have also been increasing the resources available in our community for the past ten years!

         South Dakota Community Foundation

Pictured are (left to right): Beth Massa, South Dakota Community Foundation West River program and development officer; Onna LeBeau, Black Hills Community Loan Fund, Inc. executive director Mike Hildebrandt, Black Hills Community Loan Fund, Inc. board president and business banker at Great Western Bank.

The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) awarded Black Hills Community Loan Fund with a $9,544 South Dakota Fund grant during a recent grant check presentation.

Black Hills Community Loan Fund (BHCLF) is a nonprofit loan fund and an emerging Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which provides consumer and home mortgage products along with developmental services to Native and low-to-moderate income individuals and families in Rapid City and surrounding communities. The organization serves the counties of Butte, Lawrence, Meade, Pennington, Custer and Fall River. 

The $9,544 South Dakota Fund grant will assist the organization’s efforts to share the “Building Native Communities” curriculum with the numerous individuals who have not yet been introduced to the benefit of financial literacy.

“We at the Black Hills Community Loan Fund are excited to be supported by the South Dakota Community Foundation,” says Onna LeBeau, Black Hills Community Loan Fund executive director. “This new grant award will give BHCLF the support needed to further reach out and work with community members in preparing for homeownership through financial education."

Grants from the South Dakota Fund help to meet the diverse and vital needs of people across the state through grants to nonprofits in the areas of culture, economic development, education, health and human services.

“The South Dakota Community Foundation supports organizations, such as the Black Hills Community Loan Fund, that seek to educate South Dakotans and equip them with the tools for a brighter financial future,” says Beth Massa, SDCF West River development and program officer. 

The South Dakota Community Foundation awards South Dakota Fund grants on an ongoing basis. For more information or to apply for a grant, visit SDCommunityFoundation.org/SDFund.