Advisory Services









CDFA EDA Revolving Loan Fund Best Practices Program

The EDA Revolving Loan Fund Program is a staple of the federal economic development access to capital delivery system. The program, established in 1975, is designed to provide grants to state and local governments, political subdivisions, and nonprofit organizations to operate a lending program that offers low-interest loans to businesses that cannot get traditional bank financing. Grant recipients are required to manage their RLF according to their RLF administrative plan, a document that describes the lending strategy and administrative procedures for a specific RLF project. The EDA has charged CDFA with developing an education program which will help to improve this crucial program.

CDFA has worked with the EDA to develop an innovative technical assistance approach to better supporting and improving the more than 500 EDA funded Revolving Loan Funds in the United States. The CDFA EDA RLF Best Practices Program will include a diverse set of offerings that will encourage learning, best practice collaborations, evaluations of service efficiencies and improvements, and a comprehensive resource collection and dissemination process.

Key program elements will include:

-EDA Revolving Loan Fund Training

CDFA will hold three two-day EDA Revolving Loan Fund Training's in 2018. More information about each training will be available soon. Check back often to see final locations, agendas, and speakers.
  • Bay Area, California - April/May, 2018
  • Philadelphia EDA Region - June/July, 2018
  • Dallas, Texas - November, 2018
CDFA will hold trainings in the Chicago, Denver and Atlanta regions in 2019.

-EDA Revolving Loan Fund Webinar Series

Exploring the Role of Revolving Loan Funds in Economic Development
January 23, 2018 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Revolving Loans Funds (RLFs) are becoming an increasingly popular financing tool, but they are sometimes misunderstood or underutilized. RLFs serve as a gap-financing measure primarily used for the development and expansion of small businesses. While the majority of RLFs support local businesses, some target specific areas, such as healthcare, minority business development, and technology focused companies. Join our expert speakers as we explore the role of RLFs in today’s economic development landscape.


Mitchell Harrison
Program Analyst
U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration

Toby Rittner
President & CEO
Council of Development Finance Agencies

Bob Isaacson
Executive Director
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Brett Doney
President & CEO
Great Falls Development Authority

Register in advance to confirm your participation and receive login information. Registration is free and open for all EDA RLF grantees.


Maximizing Revolving Loan Fund Impact
February 20, 2018 @ 2:00 PM Eastern

Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) are finance tools that can be used to help grow small and mid-sized businesses. A RLF is a funding pool that replenishes itself through repayments of principal and grows through the payment of interest. While the majority of RLFs support local businesses, some target specific areas such as health care, technology, and infrastructure. Join our expert speakers as we explore some of the most successful EDA RLF programs in the nation.

Speakers will be announced soon.

Register in advance to confirm your participation and receive login information. Registration is free and open for all EDA RLF grantees.


-EDA Revolving Loan Fund Peer-to-Peer Learning Exchange

Best practice learning will be a foundational element of this program. CDFA will work with EDA to identify and invite lower and higher performing funds to participate in the peer-to-peer learning program. High and low performing funds will be determined according to several metrics including but not limited to the default rate, write-off rate, liquidity and strategic results.

RLF operators will be matched for the entire two year period. CDFA staff will lead conversations and pairings and track total involvement. Interactions will include online learning, video chats, and gathering at an RLF training course or CDFA National Summit. CDFA will encourage regular reporting from the peer groups about progress being made. CDFA staff will make an effort to participate in at least one conversation per peer group throughout the period to discuss opportunities and challenges.

Most exchanges will occur as scheduled web video meetings with a CDFA team member organizing the conversations. Participants will be encouraged to attend the regular webinars as part of the Online Learning module and then will follow-up with one-on-one meetings for a peer exchange on the same topic. A sample set of questions will be provided to help facilitate conversation and mentoring.

The entire cohort of RLF operators will meet in-person at the CDFA National Summit to discuss progress, challenges, and opportunities for improving program management and delivery.

Contact CDFA if you are interested in participating in the exchange.

-EDA Revolving Loan Fund Resource Center

The EDA Revolving Loan Fund Resource Center will host a vast collection of EDA Revolving Loan Fund resources including presentations, best practices, case studies and archives of learning materials from webinars and training sessions. The resource center will be released soon.

The CDFA EDA RLF Best Practices Program was prepared by the Council of Development Finance Agencies using Federal funds under award ED17HDQ3030053 from the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.