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CDFI and MDI
First Choice Bank Awarded the Bank Enterprise Award for Seven Consecutive Years
First Choice Bank is proud to announce that the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund recently granted First Choice more than $202,000 in Bank Enterprise Awards (BEA), the maximum amount presented for this award, which the Bank has now received for seven years in a row. In addition to the CDFI designation, First Choice Bank also qualifies as a Minority Depository Institution (MDI), as a majority of our Board of Directors is minority, and the communities we serve are predominantly minority.
First Choice Bank’s mission is to promote economic development, job creation, business development, affordable housing, financial literacy and philanthropic support to underserved people and economically distressed communities. Giving back is vital to our organization. We are honored to have been involved in many events and programs over the years that benefited low-income families, high school students, and small business owners. In 2019, First Choice Bank donated close to $100,000 to over 50 non-profit organizations and invested $2,500,000 for a cause in affordable housing. Some of our significant contributions to low-to- moderate income communities in the Counties of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego include facilitating flexible lending solutions to underserved small businesses. In 2018, we introduced a micro-loan program to provide startup funds to small business entrepreneurs. We believe our micro-loan program, which has grown substantially over the last two years, offers a truly unique benefit to a community of borrowers who otherwise have no access to capital. First Choice Bank's ability to help many of these borrowers during the COVID-19 crisis has been an added benefit for our communities most in need. Employee volunteerism has also made an increasing impact to the communities we serve. First Choice Bank’s employees and directors serve on a variety of non-profit boards, from supporting children's after-school programs to promoting financial literacy education.
First Choice Bank Invests Additional $1,500,000 in Clearinghouse CDFI
In December 2020, First Choice Bank made a second investment of $1,500,000 in the Clearinghouse Community Development Financial Institution (Clearinghouse CDFI), with the first investment of $500,000 having been made earlier in the year, in January. The Bank's investments in Clearinghouse CDFI help the organization to fund loans for community projects that have created or retained more than 21,500 jobs and benefit over 1.9 million individuals. Over the past year, Clearinghouse CDFI financed 245 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans totaling $7.5 million to help save small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 90% of these borrowers were low-income and/or lacked adequate access to PPP and included minority-owned and women-owned businesses or businesses located in majority-minority areas. First Choice Bank is proud to support Clearinghouse CDFI in its efforts to assist those most in need in our communities.
First Choice Bank Highlighted as FDIC Mission-Driven Bank
First Choice Bank is proud to be designated by the FDIC as a Minority Depository Institution (MDI) and to be certified through the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). MDIs and CDFIs, known as mission-driven banks, are a small set of banks across the nation that serve minority, low- or moderate-income (LMI), and rural communities at higher rates than mainstream banks. The FDIC recently published “Investing in the Future of Mission-Driven Banks,” which includes a spotlight on FCB's Microloan Program and the much-needed support it provides to small and micro-businesses in our local communities (page 21 of the publication).