The Columbus Foundation loans $500,000 to ECDI

The Columbus Foundation has made additional capital available to entrepreneurs in Central Ohio.

On Oct. 10, it was announced that the foundation loaned $500,000 to the Economic and Community Development Institute to support its small business loan program, which offers loans up to $100,000 to entrepreneurs who may not be able to get financing elsewhere.

“Since 2004, ECDI has helped develop businesses and communities by investing in people and providing valuable training,” said Douglas Kridler, president and CEO of the foundation, in a statement. “This investment by the Columbus Foundation furthers that mission and invests in the strengthening of our community, which is at the heart of all of our work.”

The foundation’s investment will be leveraged with at least $1 million from ECDI’s existing loan funds.

ECDI is the seventh largest U.S. Small Business Administration intermediary lender in the nation, serving 49 counties in Ohio.

In 2010, ECDI launched Invest Local Ohio, which provides community members the opportunity to invest in small businesses by investing in ECDI. Every dollar invested is loaned to a local small business and leveraged with at least $2 from other existing ECDI loan funds.

ECDI investors get a 3 to 5 percent return on their investment based on the term of their note. Though the foundation’s investment does not go toward Invest Local Ohio, the idea for it was inspired by the fund.

Since its founding 68 years ago, the foundation and its donors have granted more than $1.2 billion to a variety of nonprofits.

More information about The Columbus Foundation can be found online at