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The Rural Impact Fund Difference

ARI has set out to encourage new surges of capital into rural areas that have long been suffering from lack of investment by creating the Rural Impact Fund (RIF). The RIF is an emerging Community Development Finance Institute (CDFI) and will be a catalyst through which ARI and its partners will aid small businesses and communities to identify and implement systems that provide new or additional capacity, build solid structures of internal and external support, develop investment streams, and promote available services. This process of creating lasting systems and infusing capital guides communities to form a solid coalition of support from industry, philanthropy, academia and the community to continue process-driven progress.

At ARI, we believe the best way to begin that type of assistance is by first focusing on the businesses in the community. We have to increase the size of the pie to increase the availability of resources in a community. This will allow us to transition to broader community-focused initiatives, while continuing to support the economic drivers.

What is a CDFI?

CDFI’s are private financial institutions that are 100% dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable lending to help low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities join the economic mainstream. CDFI’s spark job growth and retention in hard-to-serve markets; they put community first, not the shareholder. For more information, please visit