Sunrise Banks, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, seeks to radically change the way urban communities and underserved people thrive by empowering them to achieve their aspirations. Sunrise uses a “do good” approach to business with products that make a difference in communities. Sunrise Banks believes that using business as a force for good can multiply impact. Sunrise Banks is a Certified B Corp, a certification granted to organizations that demonstrate a commitment to transparent corporate governance, environmental stewardship and positive community impact. Sunrise is also a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a network of the world’s leading sustainable banks that use finance to deliver sustainable development for underserved people, communities and the environment.
B Corps are businesses that have been certified by the nonprofit B Lab as being committed to the ideal of using "business as a force for good." As community development banks already have that ideal built into their foundations, these banks make a great fit for the B Corp movement. "It's in our DNA to serve our community, particularly low- and moderate-income communities," says City First Bank CEO Brian Argrett. "Our approach to being a community bank was already fully aligned with what B Lab was doing." CDBA's Spring Bank and Sunrise Banks are also identified as stellar examples.
During the long government shutdown, small business owners in Minnesota and nation-wide faced difficulties getting approval for new SBA-backed loans. Chris Albrecht, Senior Vice President and Director of SBA lending for Sunrise Banks, explained that the shutdown prevented them from getting government confirmation, despite businesses desperately needing the capital. The government has since re-opened, but now catching up may take some time. "No one is quite sure what the backlog could be," said Albrecht.
When Stephanie Shimp's restaurant business was on the verge of financial disaster, Sunrise Banks stepped in to help them through the use of SBA-backed loans. "There may be something that prevents the loan from being done conventionally," says Chris Albrecht, Sunrise Bank's senior vice president and SBA manager. "The hope is that these [SBA] loans will transition into conventional financing." And for Shimp, they did exactly that. "We have grown really because of and through this SBA product," she explains. "It's a real company now." Read more here.