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Amarillo Area Foundation

Faced with increasing poverty, the Amarillo Area Foundation began to reevaluate how it would meet its mission to “improve quality of life in the Texas Panhandle.” As part of its Panhandle Prosperity Initiative, the foundation searched for opportunities to build wealth for low- to moderate-income families, concentrating on small business development, increasing rates of homeownership, asset building, and cultural inclusion. In 2012, the foundation enlisted The Democracy Collaborative to conduct a feasibility study to assess opportunities to leverage the purchasing power and investment of anchor institutions to stimulate place-based job creation and local ownership. Since the study’s completion, the foundation has launched a bank-access initiative, and is exploring the launch of a social or municipal enterprise to rehab or retrofit vehicles.

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