Saint John's Community Loan Fund to receive $60,000 from The Co-operators

GUELPH, ON, June 12, 2012 /CNW/ - The Saint John Community Loan Fund received a boost today with the announcement that The Co-operators will provide $60,000 in funding over three years. The funding is being provided through The Co-operators Foundation's Community Economic Development (CED) Fund, which supports programs that help disadvantaged people gain skills and move toward self-reliance.

The Saint John Community Loan Fund helps people in the area attain greater self-reliance by providing them with loans, training and matched savings, and by building creative and affordable spaces. The grant will be put toward the administration costs of supporting new projects and programs, expanding the reach of training programs outside of Saint John, expanding lending to social enterprises, and contributing to the provincial social enterprise sector.

The Co-operators has been a long-time supporter of the Saint John Community Loan Fund, having provided a total of $140,000 since 2005.

"The Co-operators support has been critical in leveraging other investors and donors to the Saint John Community Loan Fund. We have grown from a single service organization primarily providing micro loans to one that has added value through training programs such as financial literacy, business plan development, youth entrepreneurship, and leadership training," said Seth Asimakos, General Manager of the Saint John Community Loan Fund. "We could not have done this without the Co-operators investment of money, as well as the vision of their staff to create multi-year funding agreements."

"Organizations like the Saint John Community Loan Fund make an enormous impact on the lives of those they work with directly, and strengthen communities like Saint John in the process," said Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators. "In a truly sustainable, vibrant community, everyone has a chance to live up to his or her potential. Saint John Community Loan Fund provides that opportunity to people who otherwise wouldn't have access to the supports they need. We're proud to lend our support."

This grant was among more than $200,000 disbursed to 11 community enterprises and initiatives across the country. To find out more about all the recipients please visit www.cooperators.ca.

The Community Economic Development (CED) Fund was established in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Co-operators and has since disbursed more than $3.6 million to 88 organizations. The CED Fund is part of The Co-operators Foundation, which supports social economy enterprises and other worthy causes throughout Canada.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $38 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada. As a proud member and supporter of the co-operative sector, The Co-operators is pleased to celebrate 2012: The International Year of Co-operatives. For more information visit www.cooperators.ca.

SOURCE The Co-operators

For further information:

Leonard Sharman
The Co-operators
519-767-3937

Seth Asimakos
Saint John Community Loan Fund
506-652-5600


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