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.
Every year, B Lab recognizes the top-performing B Corps creating the greatest impact through their businesses. Honorees are recognized for having the highest environmental, community, customer, worker and overall impact by earning a score in the top 10% on the B Impact Assessment, as well as a list recognising B Corps with the greatest impact improvement (the changemakers). These businesses are proving that competing not only to be best in the world but best for the world is a winning strategy, and they can lead the way as mainstream businesses join our movement. This year, 4 CDBA members were named Best for the World: Beneficial State Bank, Spring Bank, Sunrise Banks, and Virginia Community Capital.
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.