Seattle, WA – The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco announced that Wells Fargo, Sunrise Community Banks, and Pinnacle National Bank were selected as its 2012 Community Reinvestment Award winners at the National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference in Seattle, WA. In addition, Bank of America, Capital One, and Citibank, in partnership with Accion Texas, Inc., received honorable mentions.
The Community Reinvestment Awards recognize and honor the work of financial institutions that are advancing innovative solutions to the challenges facing lower-income communities. This year’s award focused on innovations that strengthen small businesses, which act as major engines of economic growth and job creation.
The three award winners and three honorable mentions were selected from 75 nominees and judged on three criteria: effective use of partnerships; flexibility and innovation; and how they meet the needs of small businesses. Awards were granted in three categories: lending, technical assistance, and partnership with a CDFI.
The 2012 Award winners are:
Technical Assistance – Wells Fargo, who provided over $1.2 million worth of grants to organizations in the San Joaquin Valley that provide technical assistance, counseling and affordable lending to small business owners, entrepreneurs and small-scale farmers. These grants were specifically targeted at small businesses in the region’s rural communities. Wells Fargo also provided $1.2 million worth of Equity Equivalent Investments to three organizations in the region whose goal is make lending available to small businesses.
Lending – Sunrise Community Banks, whose two initiatives — The Socially Responsible Deposit Fund, and the New Markets Tax Credit Loan Program — focused on lending in the urban core of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Socially Responsible Deposit Fund offers deposit customers the opportunity to use their deposits to fund the banks’ support of affordable housing, small business development and community services offered through nonprofit organizations. Currently depositors have designated over $43 million in deposits to this fund. The New Markets Tax Credit Loan Program, established through a $25 million award of New Markets Tax Credits from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is designed to encourage investment in economically distressed communities throughout the Twin Cities metro area.
Partnership with a CDFI – Pinnacle National Bank, who provided a $15 million community development investment in the form of a 0% line of credit as part of the initial capitalization of the Tennessee Energy Efficiency Loan Fund (TNEEF). TNEEF is a public-private collaboration between Pinnacle, the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Pathway Lending, a CDFI that provides loans to businesses in low- and moderate-income communities in Tennessee. TNEEF provides businesses with low-interest loans to implement energy efficiency projects, such as system upgrades, building retrofits, and equipment replacement. These projects are economically beneficial, yet difficult to finance, particularly for small businesses in low- and moderate-income communities.
The 2012 Honorable Mentions are:
Citibank, whose ongoing partnership with ACCION Texas, Inc. since 1996 has focused on expanding financial inclusion and economic empowerment for underserved entrepreneurs, by providing volunteers, loan capital, philanthropic contributions and leadership through board service.
Bank of America, who developed a Loan Loss Reserve grant program to assist mission-based lenders in the Small Business Administration Microloan Program (SBA) and other programs. This program provides inexpensive capital from the SBA to participating non-profit intermediaries, who in turn lend the funds to small businesses.
Capital One Bank, who created a new technical assistance training course called “Getting Down to Business,” for small business owners serving low-to-moderate-income communities. The program is designed specifically for small businesses with annual revenues of less than a million dollars, and provides technical assistance in critical business management areas.
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (SF Fed) serves the public by promoting a healthy, sustainable economy, and supporting the nation’s financial and payment systems. With offices in Los Angeles, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Portland and Phoenix, the Bank serves the Twelfth Federal Reserve District, which includes one-fifth of the nation’s population and represents the world’s fourth-largest economy. As part of the nation’s central bank, the SF Fed informs monetary policy, regulates banks, administers certain consumer protection laws and acts as a financial partner to the U.S. government.