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CBA Shares How America's Leading Banks Are Promoting Economic Empowerment This Black History Month and All Year Long
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This Black History Month, the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) is proud to highlight the many ways in which America’s leading retail banks have worked to empower Black entrepreneurs and communities to build successful businesses and brighter futures, not just in February, but all year long. In this first installment of a new blog series, we are spotlighting some of the programs, initiatives, and partnerships from three CBA members – TD Bank, Regions Bank, and U.S Bank – that are helping Black-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs thrive across the communities they serve.
Last year, TD Bank announced the launch of the Black Entrepreneur Credit Access Program, a lending program founded on providing more equitable access to credit for Black entrepreneurs, who disproportionally face hurdles securing funding for their businesses, helping to foster economic inclusion. As part of its Black Business Month spotlight, TD Bank shared stories from Black small business owners who have worked closely with them to receive start-up or business development funds.
- Rydia Ramsure worked closely with the store manager of her local TD Bank location to help grow her business, Foxy Black Bundles, from the trunk of her car to multiple storefronts and an online store. Watch here.
- Rose Staram’s true passion is to produce major events. With the help of TD Bank, Rose went from accountant to CEO of RoseMark Production. In her chat with Christopher Sylvestre, Rose says, “I think it's important that women, people of color, see people like me at the top.” Watch here.
- From chefs, to dentists, to construction owners, TD bank highlights more of its customers on its website.
In 2023, Regions Bank launched an initiative to support and develop more Black-owned businesses in its headquarters’ city of Birmingham, Ala. The Birmingham Black-Owned Business Initiative collaborates with community partners to support Black-owned businesses by providing them with Regions Bank’s resources and expertise.
Regions focuses on three key priorities to develop Black entrepreneurship in Birmingham:
- Amplifying current resources for Black businesses.
- Addressing the gaps where additional resources are needed.
- Building collaboration that focuses on results.
One of the community partners working with Regions is Prosper, an initiative focused on business development in the American Southeast, which will work directly with businesses to provide needed resources and expertise.
Learn more about the initiative here.
In 2022, U.S. Bank was recognized by the Small Business Administration for its investments in Black-owned businesses in the state of Arkansas. One unique innovation to further its involvement with Black entrepreneurs was the Business Access Advisors (BAA) program, launched in 2021 and which served over 1,000 businesses in 2022.
The BAA role was created as part of U.S. Bank Access Commitment®, a long-term approach that extends beyond traditional lending to close the wealth gap for underserved and diverse communities across the country. BAAs provide small business owners with information, connections, and capital. Additionally, they provide advice and business development tools to city councils so they can better serve the individual needs of their communities. For example:
- In Chicago, BAA Micae Brown serves as an advisor to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Office of Minority and Economic Empowerment and the Small Business Development Center on its statewide technical assistance initiative that includes small business centers and entrepreneurship training.
- In Charlotte, BAA Tamika Stafford established a relationship with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s small business resource partner SCORE Charlotte through which she serves as a mentor and provides resources, tools and learning opportunities.
- Tim Farrow in the Twin Cities launched Access Commitment Live!, a series to share comprehensive and actionable strategies to help Black-owned businesses scale. It kicked off with a successful Black Business Month event and translated into bi-monthly programming and conversations.
Read more about the BAA program and the work it supports in local communities here.
Stay tuned for more features from our member banks as we dive into the resources offered by America’s leading banks to support the continued development of Black communities through home ownership and higher education