Virginia Community Capital has been working hard to revitalize the Jefferson Davis Highway Corridor. In recent years the area has seen a rise in poverty, crime, and abandoned storefronts. However, in partnership with the city of Richmond, VCC has given nearly $2 million dollars in loans to local businesses in an effort to rebuild this community.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church announced a groundbreaking economic partnership with Black-owned banks across the country. This partnership is intended to increase black wealth through business development and homeownership. The idea for the partnership grew out of Black Wealth 2020. A successor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Poor People's Campaign," this movement seeks to unite pro-social organizations in the effort to strengthen black wealth.
Stephanie Thomas, the director of Programs and Small Business Services for the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF), took a moment to teach entrepreneurs about small business finance. As the most recent keynote speaker at one Marshall Heights Community Development Organization's "DC First Fridays," Thomas spoke about credit, stages of business, and community banks.
Chief Executive Officer of Community Bank's North Mississippi Region Mike Webb announces that Jon Paul Rhea has been named the new Senior Vice President at the bank. Additionally, Community Bank's Pine Belt Region Chief Executive Officer Justin Martin announces that Scott Cooley has just been named Vice President at his bank.
The DC area has striking levels of economic inequality. Community development works to change this, but how equitably are these resources distributed? This new tool shows how well counties are accessing federal funds. The data shows that DC does well in accessing community development financing, though there is comparatively small levels of small business investment.
The application deadline for the 2018 ABA Foundation Community Commitment Awards has been extended to Friday, July 13. The awards recognize and promote the many ways banks contribute to economic growth, community development and overall well-being. Open to banks of all asset sizes and charters, the awards celebrate financial institutions that have demonstrated noteworthy corporate social responsibility. Bankers can submit applications in one or all seven categories: affordable housing, community and economic development, financial education, protecting older Americans, volunteerism, and the George Bailey Award, which recognizes a non-CEO employee who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to community service. The awards will be judged by a panel of experts in each field. Winners will be honored in a ceremony during ABA's Annual Convention in New York on Oct. 21-23.
Little Rock, Arkansas based Southern Bancorp has made a successful business model out of serving places larger banks ignore. Bill Wright, a Little Rock native who leads the Bank's western region, proudly rattles off the names of business owners the bank has supported. Recently, as the bank seeks to expand into further markets in the area, it received $7.5 million from SFRE, a group of global investors interested in banks with a social mission.
Southern Bancorp has completed several acquisitions since the financial crisis, but the biggest bank it bought had just $211 million in assets. Those acquisitions have largely focused on rural markets in Arkansas and Mississippi. CEO Darrin Williams sees no reason to alter that strategy after bringing in almost $18 million in fresh capital. Southern plans to keep scooping up banks that target largely underserved populations. “We want to be profitable but with a purpose,” Williams said. “We talk about riding a bicycle. The front wheel is our mission, while the back wheel pushes us forward. No margin, no mission.”
The CDFI Fund announced $22.8 million in 2017 Bank Enterprise Award grants to mission-focused banks for their service in high poverty communities. These awards were at risk of being rescinded by the Trump Administration’s proposed $15 billion cutbacks package. The rescission failed to pass by its June 22, 2018 deadline, and the 2017 BEA Awards were subsequently unfrozen and released.
48-year old Kiko Davis is the majority stockholder of Detroit-based First Independence Bank, one of the top 10 largest black-owned banks in the United States. This makes her the only African American woman in the country who owns a bank. Kiko says that taking risks is very important to become successful. “Without risk,” she says. “there can be no reward… Your mistakes will bring invaluable knowledge that will ultimately become your strategy for winning.”