Every year, B Lab recognizes the top-performing B Corps creating the greatest impact through their businesses. These B Corps are named Best for the World as their verified scores in the five impact areas evaluated on the B Impact Assessment (BIA)—community, customers, environment, governance, and workers—are amongst the global top 5% in their corresponding size group. These businesses are proving that competing not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world, is a winning strategy, and they can lead the way as more businesses continue to join the movement that is transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. This year, Beneficial State Bank, City First Bank, Spring Bank, Sunrise Banks, and Virginia Community Capital were among the banks named Best for the World.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is launching a streamlined application portal to allow borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans $150,000 or less through participating lenders to apply for forgiveness directly through the SBA. This new change will help rush relief to over 6.5 million smallest of small businesses which has been the Administrator’s priority since day one. The new forgiveness platform will begin accepting applications from borrowers on August 4th, 2021. Lenders are required to opt-in to this program through https://directforgiveness.sba.gov. In addition to the technology platform, the SBA is standing up a PPP customer service team to answer questions and directly assist borrowers with their forgiveness applications. Borrowers that need assistance or have questions should call (877) 552-2692, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. EST.
Climate First Bank, the nation's only bank founded specifically to combat the climate crisis, today welcomes four new hires to its team. The additions include Holly Bridwell as marketing director and wingwoman to the chairman, Lauren Dubé as vice president and director of client and mission partnerships, Blaine Worak as senior vice president, senior credit administrator and loan operations manager, and Rachel Yorston as commercial and government-guaranteed lending associate. Dubbed the "Mighty Millennials," these brilliant, young professionals and their collective dedication to prevent the climate crisis represent the country's brightest future.Climate First Bank is a values-based community bank offering a complete, full-service portfolio of simple and easy-to-use traditional banking products. These products are powered by high technology to meet the expectations of today’s consumers. In addition to offering standard banking services, the company places a special emphasis on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and businesses committed to sustainability. Eco-conscious customers will find dedicated loan options for solar photovoltaic (PV), energy retrofits and infrastructure to help combat the climate crisis.
SouthState Bank announced an investment of $500,000 into Optus Bank, a federally designated minority depository institution (MDI) and community development financial institution (CDFI), in support of the bank's mission to close the wealth gap in previously unbanked, underbanked, and historically underserved people and places. "Fulfilling our commitment to closing the opportunity gaps in our communities requires strategic investments from mission-aligned partners like SouthState. With support of their equity investment, we have raised a total of $17 million in new capital since 2020 and grown our assets to nearly $300 million," said Dominik Mjartan, Optus Bank president & CEO. "Deploying this capital into underserved communities, minority owned homes and businesses to create generational wealth is Optus Bank's mission and mandate."
America's largest Black owned bank, OneUnited Bank, has made history again with its inaugural free OneTransaction Conference to close the racial wealth gap which happened on Juneteenth (June 19,2021). The conference boasted registrations of over 30,000 people! Attendees enjoyed back-to-back informative and entertaining 1-hour sessions that highlighted the OneTransaction formula – choosing one transaction to focus on in 2021 - with Black finance experts like The Budgetnista, Sharon Epperson and Chris Browning, as well as pop icons Daymond John who talked about how he built his profitable businesses and Emmy award winning actress Tiffany Haddish who talked about her love of homeownership and her pursuit of happiness. The segments covered the 6 transactions that can create generational wealth for Black America: wills, life insurance, home ownership, a profitable business, savings/investment and an improved credit score. A portion of the conference was hosted live by OneUnited owners Kevin Cohee, CEO & Chairman and Teri Williams, President & COO, at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute in the heart of Harlem, which provided a beautiful, culturally relevant backdrop for the live portion of the show. Kevin & Teri talked about the historic legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday and what it means for the future of the Black struggle, the definition of "anti-racism" and how it relates to money and closing the racial wealth gap. Attendees were also invited to join the #BankBlack Movement, led by OneUnited Bank. In between pre-recorded segments and the live portions of the show, the audience enjoyed an exciting mix of music by D.J. Hasan Insane, who laid out the old school hits that kept the party going in between sessions. The full OneTransaction Conference replay is free and open to the public for viewing at www.oneunited.com/onetransaction2021. Join OneUnited Bank on Juneteenth 2022 for the 2nd Annual OneTransaction Conference.