Southern Bancorp, Inc. is one of America’s largest rural development banks with approximately $1.1 billion in assets, serving over 80,000 customers at 39 branches in both Arkansas and Mississippi. Southern was founded in 1986 by then Governor Bill Clinton, Wal-Mart Chair Rob Walton, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and others who were concerned about the economic decline of rural Arkansas. Southern invests in people and businesses in rural communities, empowers them to improve their lives and helps them transform their communities.
NCIF invited 10 partner CDFI and Minority Banks to identify small business customers that are integral to their local communities and needed support to sustain their respective businesses through the pandemic. NCIF used over $100,000 of its own funds to pilot an unrestricted microgrant program as gap funding to these customers. Our first batch of microgrants was given to social entrepreneurs, retail businesses, community facilities, affordable housing organizations, arts nonprofits, and other small businesses across the country. These CDBA members are First Southwest Bank, Carver Federal Savings Bank, City First Bank of DC, Community Bank of the Bay, First Eagle Bank, Industrial Bank, Native American Bank, Providence Bank & Trust, Southern Bancorp, and United Bank.
Southern Bancorp, Inc., a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and holding company for Southern Bancorp Bank, today announced it has entered into a merger agreement to acquire DeWitt First Bankshares Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiary, Arkansas County Bank, a $185 million asset bank with two branches in Arkansas County (DeWitt and Stuttgart) and one in Sevier County (Lockesburg).
Last month, Bank of America announced that it had completed 10 new equity investments as part of its 4-year $1 billion commitment to advance racial equality in economic opportunity. Of BoA's 10 equity investments, 6 were to CDBA member banks: Carver State Bank, Carver Federal Savings Bank, First Independence Bank, M&F Bank, Southern Bancorp, and Optus Bank. These investments will facilitate benefits across multiple states and in the communities that these institutions serve through lending, housing, neighborhood revitalization, and other banking services.