First Corporate Sponsor to Build Funding for Support of Local Diverse Businesses
Greater Nevada Credit Union (GNCU), a Carson City-based credit union serving northern Nevada, contributes $25,000 as the first corporate sponsor and financial institution to the Audacity Fund Reno, which provides funding, education and support to local business owners from underserved populations.
The Audacity Fund Reno is a field of interest fund at the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. The GNCU contribution kickstarted the fund’s $2 million capital campaign to invest appropriate capital in main street and tech companies with underrepresented founders.
“Greater Nevada Credit Union is driven by our passion to help Nevadans and Nevada’s businesses live greater,” said Wally Murray, president and CEO of Greater Nevada Credit Union. “Like many credit unions across America, Greater Nevada was formed more than 70 years ago by a small group of people who felt underrepresented and cut off from sources of capital. That’s one reason we’re ecstatic to assist with the Audacity Fund Reno to provide a new source of support for businesses that are the backbone of our vibrant community.”
The Audacity Fund Reno invites financial institutions, corporations and community members to follow GNCU’s lead in supporting small businesses in the western Nevada region. All contributions to the Audacity Fund Reno support local businesses founded by women, minorities, LBGTQ+, people with disabilities, veterans and other underrepresented groups.
“In administering the City of Reno small business relief fund for minority and women owned businesses, requests for financial assistance were seven times the $1M allocated,” said Danielle Rees, managing partner of the Audacity Institute. “With COVID cases on the rise locally, the need to support our small businesses is greater than ever. Investing in local and inclusive businesses provides a solid return on investment. Every $10,000 invested in a local women or minority-owned business results in an annual local economic impact of $90,000.”
The Audacity Institute will provide group education and individual mentoring to the cohort of companies selected to receive funding. Education topics are tailored for the stage and type of company ranging from topics such as business structures, licenses and permits; to finance and accounting; to market research and sales; to operational adaptation of business practices; to long-term funding strategies.
“I am beyond thrilled to support the Audacity Fund and Greater Nevada Credit Union,” said Mayor Hillary Schieve and owner of Clothes Mentor and Plato’s Closet. “These community partners are showing once again that when Reno works together, we can thrive. The focus on boosting women and minority-owned companies shouldn’t stop even in the middle of the pandemic. Our businesses continue to suffer but lifelines like this can help workers and owners across our region. The work goes on and we can do this together.”
“It’s ultimately folks on Main Street working together to inject vitality and inspiration that help local and diverse economies to thrive, not Wall Street,” said Murray. “That is why our supporting programs like the Audacity Fund Reno is incredibly important to us, as it aligns very well with our expertise in providing small business assistance using programs like those offered through the SBA and USDA.” Recently GNCU and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Greater Commercial Lending (GCL), helped save more than 61,000 jobs by funding 5,900 forgivable SBA PPP loans totaling $583 million in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories. That includes loans to over 2,100 Nevada businesses for more than $137 million.
Applications for funding from the Audacity Fund will open as soon as the first $250,000 is raised. For more information on making a contribution, visit AudacityFundReno.com. For more information about GNCU, visit GNCU.org.
About Greater Nevada Credit Union:
Greater Nevada Credit Union (GNCU) is headquartered in Carson City, Nev. and has been helping Nevadans with their financial needs since 1949. The credit union serves more than 77,000 consumers and small businesses, has over $1.2 billion in assets, and is the largest community-owned financial institution domiciled in Nevada. GNCU’s subsidiaries include Greater Commercial Lending, Greater Nevada Mortgage and Greater Nevada Insurance. GNCU has been consistently recognized as a Best Financial Institution in many of its service areas, a top employer by the Reno/Tahoe Best Places to Work Awards and is a four-time USDA National Lender of the Year. GNCU is also the title sponsor of Greater Nevada Field in Reno. For more information, call (800) 421-6674 or visit www.gncu.org.
About the Audacity Institute:
The Audacity Institute was created to build vibrant and inclusive local economies by providing funding, education, and support to business owners from underserved populations. Audacity Institute partnered with the Community Foundation of Western Nevada to launch the Audacity Fund Reno, a targeted $2-million fund investing appropriate capital in the greater Reno region’s Mainstreet and Tech companies with underrepresented founders. To learn more, visit audacityinstitute.org.