As one Charlotte prospers, another struggles: How Covid will shape our economic recovery December 2020

Charlotte's recovery will likely look like its growth for the last several decades: uneven.
Axios Charlotte (12/18/2020) Like other mid-size Sunbelt cities, Charlotte will continue to attract young talent from larger, pricier cities like New York and San Francisco. Our residential real estate market shows no signs of slowing. Companies still move here and add high-paying positions. Out-of-town developers still buy up land in hot neighborhoods.

On the other hand, we've lost thousands of jobs. The problem is worse among people who get paid by the hour, and among those who work in the hospitality industry. Experts worry that children who already lived in poor households are falling further behind because schools haven't fully returned for in-person learning. Many people can't afford to pay rent or their bills. Read more... [..] read more

COVID-19 Response Fund awards more than $3.5 million to 67 local nonprofits May 2020

More than $10 million awarded over three rounds of grants to nonprofits meeting local needs

More than $3.5 million has been awarded to 67 local nonprofits in the third round of grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund. To date, more than $10 million has been granted to nonprofits helping those affected by the pandemic with basic needs such as child care, education, housing, food, emergency financial assistance, legal advocacy, health and mental health and workforce development.

The latest grants were awarded via a competitive grant cycle open to all Mecklenburg County 501(c)3 nonprofits that met eligibility requirements. Since the Charlotte-Mecklenburg COVID-19 Response Fund was launched on March 16, more than $18.5 million has been raised from corporations, foundations, individuals and local government.Click here to read the entire article. [..] read more

Local nonprofit has handed out 140 loans to help those out of work April 2020

CHARLOTTE -- It's been more than a month since Mansfield Hyatt has stepped into his barbershop. On a typical Tuesday, he'd be busy clipping and styling hair.
"I can't wait to get back in and start working," he told Channel 9. "It's like my fingers, I can feel the vibration in my hands, waiting for me.
Click here to see the complete story and interview. [..] read more

Chuck Jones of Common Wealth Charlotte with Bo Thompson. April 2020

Chuck Jones, Executive Director of Common Wealth Charlotte, with Bo Thompson on the WBT Morning Show.Click here to hear interview. [..] read more

Wells Fargo Provides $150,000 for CWC Capability-Building Initiatives April 2020

A $150,000 grant to Common Wealth Charlotte is supporting the group's trauma-informed financial capability and wealth building programs. Before the COVID‑19 pandemic, the majority of the nonprofit's clients rarely made ends meet, due to limited work hours and high housing, transportation, and child care costs. The nonprofit has established a COVID‑19 financial questions virtual/text system for low-income wage earners with concerns about current or impending financial hardship due to loss of income from job cessation, voluntary or mandatory quarantines, or other hardships caused by COVID‑19.Watch the video here. [..] read more

Common Wealth Charlotte Among First COVID-19 Response Fund Recipients March 2020

Nearly $3 million has been awarded to 14 local nonprofits in the first round of grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund. To date, more than $11 million has been raised for the fund from corporations, foundations, individuals and local government.

The initial round of awards was distributed as direct grants by the COVID-19 Response Fund Grants Committee (see below for list of committee members). These grants ensure rapid funding for organizations on the front lines meeting basic needs for those affected by the pandemic: food, shelter, housing and emergency financial assistance.

A competitive grant cycle is now open for future grant awards. Mecklenburg County 501(c)3 nonprofits that meet eligibility requirements may apply; the next grant deadline is April 3. Visit for eligibility requirements and to apply.Click here to read the entire article. [..] read more

Providing Financial Literacy Education December 2019

In 2014, a long overdue alarm bell went off in the Charlotte community. That year, a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research ranked our city last among the country's 50 largest metro areas for economic mobility. The bottom line, according to the study's researchers: The vast majority of those who are born poor in Charlotte will remain poor.

Enter Common Wealth Charlotte, a nonprofit organization that had been formed prior to the study's release. Economic mobility is a complex, multifaceted issue, and Common Wealth Charlotte focuses on an important piece, providing financial literacy education to Charlotte's roughly 150,000 low-income wage earners who work full time yet take home only $1,500 per month, or 30-35% of the area median income.

I joined Common Wealth Charlotte in 2017, and a key component of our success has been understanding the psychological and emotional trauma experienced by the working poor and incorporating that into our [..] read more

Common Wealth Charlotte launching program to help residents deals with housing costs December 2019

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Common Wealth Charlotte Launches Affordable Housing Loan Program November 2019

Assisted by CBA, Housing Opportunity Loans to help renters with up-front fees Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 25, 2019 -- Common Wealth Charlotte (CWC) has launched a new loan program designed to help low-income wage earners in Charlotte secure affordable housing by assisting them with up-front rental fees. Through a $28,000 investment from Credit Builders Alliance, Common Wealth Charlotte will begin providing qualified clients $1,000 or $2,000 Housing Opportunity Loans to be applied toward the standard first month's rent and security deposit required by many apartment landlords. The loans will feature a 12-month or 24-month term, respectively, and a below-market annual percentage rate (APR) of 6%. "For low-income wage earners in our community, the up-front fees required by rental property owners often puts affordable housing out of reach," said Chuck Jones, Executive Director of Common Wealth Charlotte. "By helping to bridge that gap with this loan [..] read more

Common Wealth Charlotte Awarded J. Jill Compassion Fund Grant April 2019

Grant will fund financial advisor serving women in crisis situations Charlotte, N.C., April 22, 2019 -- Common Wealth Charlotte (CWC), a nonprofit organization that serves Charlotte's low-income wage earners through financial literacy education and access to non-predatory financial services, has been awarded a $20,000 grant by the J. Jill Compassion Fund. The grant will be used to fund a financial advisor at CWC who works with women in crisis situations. Founded by women's clothing retailer J. Jill in 2002, the J.Jill Compassion Fund provides support to community-based organizations that help disadvantaged and homeless women become self-sufficient. With a desire to deepen its impact and relationships with a focused group of organizations, the fund makes its grants through an invitation-only request for proposal (RFP) process. The J. Jill Compassion Fund invited Common Wealth Charlotte to submit a proposal late last year. "We are honored to [..] read more

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