Hildene Capital Management, a New York distressed-debt hedge fund, has threatened Portland, Ore.’s Albina Community Bancorp with involuntary bankruptcy if it defaults on its trust-preferred debt. Albina has been deferring interest on its trust-preferreds for five years and will soon default on about $6 million in debt and accrued interest if it doesn't pay. Complicating matters, Albina is currently under regulatory orders barring them from paying trust-preferred creditors. Last year, Albina sold a 90% stake in its bank to Beneficial State Bancorp in Oakland, Calif. by issuing new stock at the bank level, thus bypassing the debt-burdened holding company. The unusual recapitalization saved the bank, but it could expose the parent company to further legal challenges.
Reversing an industry trend of decreased rural lending, Southern Bancorp's 2013 annual report shows lending growth to $742 million, including 562 small business loans and microloans. Among customers profiled is Robert Heard, founder of Trumann, Ark.-based cabinet manufacturer Tru-Cab. As a young man, Heard worked at the Singer sewing machine factory by day and in his garage cabinet workshop by night. With Southern's help, Heard left Singer to open a Tru-Cab, a small shop which soon prospered. In the 1980's, the Singer factory closed and the building was vacant for years. Now, with financing from Southern, Heard is returning to the Singer factory -- which is the new manufacturing headquarters for Tru-Cab.
With help from Virginia Community Capital, Khans Builders & Contractors has converted a historic building in Roanoke, Va. into a 90-apartment mixed income space. VCC provided construction financing, in partnership with HomeTown Bank and Community Bankers’ Bank and with permanent financing from The Virginia Housing Development Authority. This is a dream come true for Faisal Khan. For years, he had driven past the once-vibrant Ponce de Leon hotel and imagined ways to revitalize the building. The Khans paid great attention to detail to restore original architectural elements, including mosaics, crown molding, and parts of the original marquee. "[W]e really started discovering the historic fabric that has been untouched for 40 years," said Khan.
Virginia Community Capital has successfully raised and self-funded $10 million to capitalize the Virginia Fresh Food Loan Fund, a milestone in VCC's Clinton Global Initiative America commitment to facilitate healthy food enterprises in urban and rural communities throughout Virginia. The fund offers small businesses technical assistance and lending opportunities to encourage the sale of market healthy items and foster the expansion of food hubs in rural communities. VCC has already deployed $600,000 from the fund to projects increasing access to healthy foods. “According to the USDA Food Atlas, 17% of Virginia residents lack access to healthy, local, and fresh foods. The [fund] is designed to help these residents have access to these foods,” said Jane Henderson, President/CEO of VCC and CDBA Chair.
The CDFI Fund is recruiting reviewers with considerable community economic development finance expertise for the 2014 round of the NMTC Program. Working in teams, but reading each application independently, reviewers will evaluate NMTC applications using the CDFI Fund’s review criteria and rate the application's business strategy and community outcomes sections. The entire process will be web-based. Due to conflict of interest concerns, employees of organizations applying for the 2014 NMTC round and employees of organizations which intend to receive loans or investments from organizations that have applied in the 2014 round may not participate. To apply to be a reviewer, sign up here.
Virginia Community Capital, in partnership with Altria Group and the City of Richmond, has created a new loan fund program to identify small businesses who wish to relocate or expand along Richmond's Jefferson Davis Corridor. The corridor was once a thriving commercial area, but declined after the construction of I-95 rerouted traffic from the Jefferson Davis Highway. Today, despite bordering several historic neighborhoods, the corridor is an underserved area which suffers from abandoned structures and a high commercial vacancy rate. Virginia Community Capital hopes its new program will help bring tenants back to the area with a combination of interest rate buy downs, credit enhancements, technical assistance and Enterprise Zone incentives.
Apple has announced that its new generation iPhones and the Apple Watch will incorporate Apple Pay, a new mobile wallet. The product could give Apple a leg up on mobile payments, a field many companies have attempted to expand with limited success. Using a credit card on their device, customers wave their phone or watch in front of a terminal to pay. The payment is delivered to the terminal using near-field communication, or N.F.C. chip. Apple hopes that its promises about security, including that credit card information will not be stored on the smartphones or devices or on Apple’s servers, will convince consumers that it is safer than using a credit card.
The CDFI Fund has announced it will launch a new Capacity Building Initiative training and technical assistance series later this year titled Expanding CDFI Coverage in Underserved Areas. The series, presented by Opportunity Finance Network, will provide specialized training and technical assistance to CDFIs to extend their reach into underserved communities that lack a CDFI presence. “By expanding the ability of CDFIs to have impact in areas currently lacking adequate financial services and lending opportunities, this training series will directly align with the CDFI Fund’s primary mission to increase economic opportunity and promote community development investments for underserved populations,” said Acting CDFI Fund Director, Dennis Nolan.
Chicago real estate magnate Daniel Goodwin describes his ownership of Pan American Bank as a labor of love, his way of promoting entrepreneurship in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Goodwin sets strategy and handles board matters as chairman of Pan American's holding company. “The most satisfaction I get from banking is working with Pan American Bank in making creative loans to startup businesses, particularly in the inner city,” Goodwin said. Since Goodwin bought the bank in 2007, its size has increased rapidly; after Pan American's recently announced acquisition of Bank of Palatine, it will have grown to nearly $300 million in assets, up from $34 million seven years ago.
Home Depot has confirmed that its payment systems were breached, potentially affecting customers who used a payment card at the stores since April. It is not yet known how many consumers were affected by the breach or to what extent their credit and debit card information has been compromised, but the company says no debit pin numbers have been compromised. Home Depot will provide free identity protection services to any customer who used a card at its stores since April. If a breach did begin in April, it would have overlapped with the retailer’s busy spring shopping season, which described on a call with investors as having “record number of customer transactions.”