1K Church Program
The Criterion Institute www.criterioninstitute.com started an initiative to get 1000 churches to make microloans in their local community or geographical area in order to help create a more equitable and sustainable economy. (92% of American businesses are micro-business with fewer than five employees, 98.4 of African American businesses and 96.6 of Latino businesses. Micro-businesses employ over 41 million people.) By being a 1K church we help address the issue of economic inequality and economic insecurity in a small way, but with a large impact when joined with hundreds of other churches.
All recipients need to reflect the values and priorities of Union Church. We are particularly interested in businesses or nonprofits that help: support immigrants and refugees, provide services to children, create opportunities for rehabilitation, re-entry and service to inmates of prisons, promote non-violence, organizations or businesses that provide food and services to unemployed or underemployed people, housing and family support and businesses that are seeking to promote alternative energy sources. Preference will be given to those that operate in geographical areas showing need for economic investment.
Our first recipient was Wham’s Cafe www.whamscafe.com. A $1500 loan allowed Sandra, the founder, owner and Kenyan immigrant, to buy a new refrigeration system. This allowed her to expand her business and she successfully paid back the loan within 18 months. Meanwhile we developed a lifelong friend and partner!
For more information on the 1K Church program, please reach out to Brita Gill-Austern.