Investing in our community
The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is federal legislation that encourages banks to assist in meeting the financial needs of their local communities, especially in low- and moderate-income (LMI) areas. Federal authorities regularly examine how well financial institutions fulfill these responsibilities.
“The CRA does not force banks to make high-risk loans (in fact, the legislation makes it clear that a bank’s CRA activities must be in keeping with the bank’s safe and sound operations), but it encourages banks to seek out involvement in economic development initiatives and housing expansions that benefit low- to moderate-income individuals,” says Vice President and HOMEBANK CRA Officer Kallie Dixon.
Banks and other financial institutions provide credit in a variety of ways, including as originators of mortgages, lenders to small businesses, advocates for economic development and low-cost housing projects, and delivery of financial advice to organizations that serve the community.
Small-business loans, including traditional loans and credit cards, are essential for a community’s economic growth.
Some examples include:
Mortgages: Homeownership is one of the best ways for LMI individuals to build wealth. Opportunities for homeownership can lead to stronger communities and increased stability among residents. A home mortgage helps consumers accumulate wealth over time with the potential increase in property value,
Working Capital: Small businesses need funds to pay employees, purchase inventory and supplies, and keep the business running.
Expansion: Businesses may need additional working capital to finance equipment purchases, make renovations, or lease property.
Purchase of an existing business: Owners must find sufficient funds to purchase the business and satisfy any other debt requirements associated with the acquisition.
“Providing financial services in underserved regions means that all groups have equal access to resources and benefits. As a result, minorities and low-income earners benefit by making it possible for them to get loans,” says Dixon.
“We teach a HOMEBANK financial literacy class to second graders in our local schools, many that serve low-income families. We talk about money, the importance of saving for things they want, and how banks can help. Our employees volunteer to teach Junior Achievement classes and I sit on the local Board of Directors.
“Our goal with children is to teach them early about good financial habits so they won’t have to struggle as much as so many people do today,” Dixon continues.
HOMEBANK employees also serve on the boards of local hospitals, chambers of commerce, and economic development groups, regularly donating expertise to help with the development of new programs and services. The result is new career opportunities for employees and more sustainable health care, education, technology, business development, and community engagement for the community.
HOMEBANK has also provided financing that has benefited our local community. For example, we financed the buildings of local merchants and provided working capital to new and existing businesses. These financing activities have had a positive impact on our community by assisting dozens of locally owned small businesses and creating job opportunities.
Our investment in the future of our community isn’t something we do because it’s popular or politically expedient. It’s simply the right thing to do. HOMEBANK wants to and continues to make an investment in our local communities.
Visit or contact one of our local branches today to see how we can help you.