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The Russell Family Foundation Allocates $600,000 to Support Pierce County Small Business Loans Through Total Portfolio Activation


Jacque Seaman / May Wildman

The Fearey Group for The Russell Family Foundation

(206) 343-1543, 

The Russell Family Foundation Allocates $600,000 to Support Pierce County Small Business Loans Through Total Portfolio Activation

December 8, 2020 (Gig Harbor, Wash.) – The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) awarded $100,000 in grant funding and $500,000 in loan capital to Business Impact Northwest (BIN), a nonprofit regional Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) serving under-banked entrepreneurs. Through this total portfolio activation strategy of stacking grant capital with investment capital, the hope is that BIN will build capacity as a lender and technical services provider in Pierce County and the City of Tacoma.

The combined George F. Russell, Jr. Legacy Fund grant and investment to BIN is slated to help the CDFI provide small businesses in Pierce County with small business assistance on the ground. It is focused on small businesses making less than $1 million per year, with specific outreach to veterans, people of color, rural business owners, farmers, first-generation immigrants and the LGBTQ population.

“Small businesses in Pierce County may be facing myriad challenges amid COVID-19 – some may not be able to access federal, state or local resources, and others may lack technical support,” said Kathleen Simpson, CEO of TRFF. “Our aim is that with help from TRFF’s funding, BIN will engage on the ground here in Pierce County to provide vital services to small business to recover and build resiliency.”

Funding will serve a variety of needs including lending capital; providing technical assistance to help businesses access traditional forms of capital; training and technical assistance to help build strong businesses; and support for rebuilding credit and improve business operations.

As all of BIN’s work is with under-banked borrowers, the purpose of CDFI’s lending is to help small businesses eventually become bankable without having to resort to aggressive online lending. The hope is that with such financial support to small businesses that might not receive it from typical sources, there will be more growth opportunity for business owners who are left out of the traditional financial system.

“In these unprecedented times, our small business community is struggling like no other time in recent memory,” said Joe Sky-Tucker, BIN President and CEO.  “Through this amazing partnership with The Russell Family Foundation we will be able to help Pierce County small businesses not only weather this storm but hopefully come out even stronger. We are looking forward to deepening our work in Pierce County and supporting the recovery from this public health crisis.” 

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About The Russell Family Foundation

Founded by George and Jane Russell, The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) provides a way for their extended family to make a quiet, positive impact in the community. TRFF does so by funding local, regional and global change through community investment in causes including resources for grassroots leaders, environmental sustainability and global peace. The organization applies their values of integrity, mutual trust, constructive communication, life-long learning and courage to all their work. With a place-based focus in the Puget Sound region, TRFF places particular emphasis on Pierce County, WA. For more information visit 

About Business Impact NW

Business Impact NW is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) dedicated to serving under-banked entrepreneurs. We provide coaching, classes and access to capital to community small businesses, with an emphasis on working with traditionally underserved populations – entrepreneurial low/moderate income earners, women, people of color, veterans, immigrants or members of the LGBTQ community. We have been serving the community since 1997. We promote long-term positive economic change through financial services, business advice and training. We serve startups as well as existing businesses, and are dedicated to helping underserved entrepreneurs at every stage in their business growth. 

Business Impact NW’s objective is to provide financial and technical support to entrepreneurs in economically marginalized communities who would not otherwise have access to financial services. Our lending guidelines are more flexible than traditional banks because of our community impact mission. While careful in our decision-making process, Business Impact NW is able to take considered risks on underserved small businesses in order to achieve this mission.