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Economic Development

The International Institute (IISTL) provides business and asset development services through our subsidiary, the II Community Development Corporation (IICDC).

II Community Development Corporation (IICDC)

Founded in 2007, the IICDC is a 501(c)(3) wholly owned subsidiary of the International Institute of St. Louis. The IICDC is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) of the US Dept. of the Treasury. We collaborate with other CDFIs and community organizations to connect our customers with a broad spectrum of business development services.

The IICDC shares the STL Mosaic Project’s vision of growing our region’s economy through diversity and innovation. We partner with four local banks plus the federal government to capitalize our loan fund.

Our loan products are designed with small business entrepreneurs in mind: The bulk of our loans go to restaurant owners, taxi and Uber drivers, small retail business owners, beauty salon operators, daycare providers, and those operating similar enterprises.

IICDC line of credit lenders are Carrolton bank, Midwest bank, PNC Bank.

Immigrant & Refugee Products

  • Business Microloans
  • Business Riba Free Loans
  • Consumer Credit Builder Loans
  • Immigration Loans
  • ASSET Program
  • Financial Literacy Classes
  • Tax Clinic
  • Free tax preparation during tax season only (Feb. – April)

Business Microloans

Our business loans start from as small as $500 and can go up to $35,000. Loan products vary according to funding source, each with specific rules on interest, maximum and eligibility. Special loans up to $15,000 available for qualified refugees. Business Development Specialists work with clients to develop a business plan, financial projections, and business capitalization. Professional volunteers also provide expertise including law, accounting, insurance, real estate, information technology, marketing and advertising, graphic design, and general business consulting.

Request more information about Business Microloans

Business Riba Free Loans (Interest Free Loan)

IICDC highly committed to help and support immigrants or refugees to establish their business according to their religious believes therefore, we offer Riba-Free loans (non-interest) to those who prefers Shariah loans (Islamic Loans). The Riba-Free loans are available to serve business needs – the procedure and compliance has been approved by Shariah scholar. Thus, the sole objective of Riba-Free loans is to serve the demand of Immigrants or refugees who are not convinced of conventional finance and seeking Riba-Free loan to establish or expand their business based on the religious believes.

Request more information about Business Riba Free Loans

Consumer Credit Builder Loans

Our consumer credit builder loan empowers our clients to establish new, good lines of credit that improve their credit history and credit score. Clients can access a fixed amount of $750 to be repaid during a fixed 12-month term. We report all repayments to the major credit bureaus. Participants must complete a credit fitness module before accessing funds.

Request more information about Consumer Credit Builder Loans

Immigration Loans

We offer citizenship loans to help customers with immigration needs such as family reunification, citizenship, permanent residency, or employment authorization renewal applications and administration preparation fees for qualified applicants. This is up to $3,000 loan per family with repayment terms of 24 months (about 2 years).

Request more information about Immigration Loans

ASSET Program

ASSET is a multi-pronged financial empowerment program for families with young children. It helps families improve their financial situation through goal setting, financial education, credit building, and financial coaching. Participants who complete the program and save a total of $100 will receive a $300 match to be used to pay down debt or to save for education.

ASSET programs are made available through the United Way’s Greater St. Louis Asset-Building Collaborative.

Request more information about the ASSET Program

Financial Literacy Classes

The Economic Development Department is excited to announce the launch of a series of free, educational classes for clients focused on business development and entrepreneurship.

We provide classes in virtual groups, or one on one. As well we provide classes in person in small groups or one on one.

We are grateful to be partnering with SLU to teach classes on everything from coming up with a business idea, marketing, financial statement, Business plan and more……

We also will be including classes in partnership with Legal Services of Eastern MO to learn about the legal documents needed to start your business, and what different business entities are possible.

With BMO Bank we will be offering classes on understanding business bank accounts, and how to build and maintain/repair your credit.

Square will be offering a course on all the products and services you can access to build your business, and how you can design and grow your business without paying for everything up front.

Please see flyer here for classes’ schedule

Request more information about Financial Literacy Class

Tax Clinic

Join lawyers and law students from Washington University’s Low Income Taxpayer clinic as they answer your questions and concerns about taxes. These are held every other month via Zoom, and each session will be focused on a specific topic. Examples include how to apply for the Child Tax Credit, an overview of why it is important to file your taxes, and the difference between W2, Schedule C, and 1099 forms. The Tax Clinic website is https://law.wustl.edu/academics/clinical-education-program/low-income-taxpayer-clinic/low-income-taxpayer-clinic-prospective-clients/. Clients can also be referred to one-on-one assistance with tax return issues, after their return has been filed.

This is not a clinic to help you file your taxes, this is only about questions related to tax issues.

Request more information about the Tax Clinic

Free tax preparation during tax season only (Feb-April)

Available for IISTL clients, immigrants, refugees, low moderate-income households, and senior citizens. Hosted by AARP.

We schedule appointment and answer your phone call during tax season only.

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