First Financial Commits $1 Million to Northern Kentucky’s Catalytic Fund

July 22, 2011

Covington, KY – July 22, 2011 – The Catalytic Development Funding Corporation of Northern Kentucky is one step closer to reaching their $10 million goal thanks to a significant boost from First Financial Bank. Today, the bank announced a $1 million commitment to the Catalytic Fund.

“We’re proud to have the opportunity to invest in an organization as important as the Catalytic Development Funding Corporation,” said Claude Davis, First Financial’s president and chief executive officer. “The Catalytic Fund will significantly accelerate economic growth and revitalization in our local communities by bringing high-quality businesses and residential developments, creating new job opportunities and attracting more people to the area.”

The Catalytic Development Funding Corporation and its investment fund are designed to serve as catalysts for the redevelopment of Northern Kentucky’s urban cities including in Bellevue, Covington, Dayton, Ludlow and Newport. The mission of the organization is to expand on the successful revitalization of the Northern Kentucky riverfront and extend improvement efforts further south into the area’s urban neighborhoods. The goal is to create a vibrant urban community with diverse housing options for existing residents and the amenities necessary to attract additional jobs and residents.

“First Financial Bank’s support of the Catalytic Fund is another example of their ongoing commitment to our community,” said Jeanne Schroer, executive director of the Catalytic Fund. “By working together with organizations like First Financial Bank, we are one step closer to our goal and one step closer to be restoring our urban core to a position of prominence.”

First Financial Bank joins six other local companies in making a major investment in the Catalytic Fund and the bank’s commitment brings the Fund to $7.5 million of the $10 million goal. Once the corporation reaches its goal, it will begin lending to developers.

The Catalytic Development Funding Corporation will support revitalization plans and redevelopment projects by facilitating site control, acting as financial packager, recruiting qualified developers and investing patient capital in projects meeting the Fund’s investment criteria.

First Financial’s contribution to the Catalytic Fund is part of the company’s community development approach that includes three targeted areas of giving: economic development, neighborhood development and education.