Southern Bancorp receives $9.8 million in CDFI grant funds

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,033 views 

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund has awarded more than $1.73 billion in grants to 603 CDFIs through the CDFI Equitable Recovery Program. Southern Bancorp, Inc., a bank holding company, and Southern Bancorp Community Partners, a nonprofit loan fund that works alongside Southern Bancorp, Inc., announced Wednesday (April 12) that each has been awarded $4.9 million, which will be put to work in its Arkansas and Mississippi markets.

“We are grateful to the U.S. Treasury for appropriating this pandemic recovery funding and distributing it to CDFIs like Southern Bancorp, Inc. and Southern Bancorp Community Partners, who can put it to work supporting the people and places who are hurting most in this economic climate,” said Darrin Williams, CEO of Southern Bancorp, Inc.

“Southern Bancorp has a proven track record of putting such resources to work in communities that need it, and this funding will allow us to increase access to financial opportunities in and around our markets, while supporting small businesses and working families,” he added.

The CDFI Equitable Recovery Program was created to help low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, navigate this “post-pandemic” economy, and invest in long-term prosperity. By distributing this funding through mission-driven CDFIs like Southern Bancorp, institutions that primarily serve historically under-resourced and LMI communities, the U.S. Treasury is investing directly into areas where the need is greatest.

This funding, a product of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, was created with the purpose of expanding lending, grant making, and investment activities to LMI communities and borrowers, particularly minorities, who otherwise may not have access to capital or financial services, and who were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the U.S. Treasury, eligibility was determined by being a certified CDFI, displaying a proven track record of serving eligible communities, and meeting certain financial criteria.