In 1975, Lowell had come through decades when its prospects were not good. But change was stirring. A university was emerging from the city’s two colleges. A national park was looking less like a hope than a possibility.
The high tech sector of the regional economy was gaining. Into this environment came a self-help idea for Lowell’s own economy. Bring the banks together and pool capital to spur investment with moderate risk. The initial capitalization resulted in $350,000 being made available over a two-year period to create a revolving loan program. With the passage in 1975 of Chapter 844, of the Acts of the General Court of Massachusetts, the LDFC was on its way.
It worked. Block by block the downtown began to see renewed business activity. Discarded buildings were brought back online as productive addresses. Confidence was catchy. Better bottom lines lifted the collective spirit. Ambition replaced resignation. “Can do” knocked out “Won’t work.” The city’s whole mood shifted. It took a lot of minds and hands and dollars to achieve the turnaround, but there is no denying the pivotal role played by the LDFC.