City First Bank of DC
City First Bank delivers innovative and creative community development finance services to low- and moderate-income communities of Washington DC and nearby suburbs. The only dedicated community development bank in the region, City First focuses on building assets – financing small companies, affordable housing, and community facilities. City First provides a range of banking services to nonprofit organizations and small businesses. They offer competitive returns to socially motivated investors who want a double bottom line return. With aid from the New Markets Tax Credit, they are able to finance large scale projects and offer subsidized financing for eligible projects that offer demonstrated and sustained benefits in low wealth neighborhoods.
Few of us think about how our banking affects the environment but, in reality, putting your money with a green-minded financial institution may be one of the best things you can do to help conserve land, protect air and water, save endangered wildlife and mitigate climate change. Banks (owned by shareholders) and credit unions (owned by the customers) lend and invest some of the deposited funds they are holding, which is how they're able to pay interest back to you. A bank or credit union that limits its investments to sustainability-oriented companies and institutions is well on its way to being considered green. Responsible options include Amalgamated Bank, Sunrise Banks, City First Bank of DC, Beneficial State Bank, and Southern Bancorp.
City First Bank of DC has released their 2018 impact report in addition to an anthology highlighting their 25th anniversary. The anthology tells the historic and vibrant stories of social impact that have been critical to City First's community economic development over the past twenty-five years. City First was chartered with a mission of investing intentionally in low wealth neighborhoods to revitalize historic corridors like U Street and H Street. City First is committed to nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and families. In this anthoogy, you will meet the social entrepreneurs that dared to rebuild our urban landscape.
Many bank executives are excited about the benefits created by Opportunity Zones. However, other banks are still wondering if participation in them is even feasible. CDBA's Jeannine Jacokes offers her insights in this special report from American Banker. The article also features CDBA members Dominik Mjartan of Optus Bank, Tom Nida of City First Bank, Adam Northup of Virginia Community Capital, and Bill Dana of the Central Bank of Kansas City, all of whom support stronger regulations for Opportunity Zone projects.