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Source: Ira L. Black – Corbis / Getty

*Major League Soccer has joined forces with several Black-owned banks in an effort to help economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

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MLS has reportedly taken out a $25 million loan facilitated by the National Black Bank Foundation (NBBF), a network of Black-owned retail financial institutions that seeks to close the racial wealth gap by helping underserved communities gain access to capital,” per Boardroom TV.

Here’s more from CNBC:

The interest and fees will be paid in advance creating what’s called Tier 1 capital. Such a deal will almost immediately allow the Black banks to offer more loans and lines of credit in Black and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.The terms of the loan are not being disclosed in Thursday’s announcement. 

“Major League Soccer’s partnership with the National Black Bank Foundation (NBBF) is a tangible step in the efforts to close the racial economic gap in the United States, and it’s the right business decision for us,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber in a release. “In order to make a genuine impact, economic justice must be part of the equation. It is our hope this will raise awareness of the importance of Black-owned banks and their impact on the economy.”

“They are not just talking about the solution for racial inequality, they are being part of the solution,” Cynthia Day, CEO of Citizens Trust Bank told CNBC. “MLS is providing access to capital for minority businesses and they are the lifeblood for the communities they serve.”

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The involved Black-owned banks are Atlanta-based Citizens Trust Bank, New York-based Carver Federal Savings, Alamerica Bank, Carver State Bank, Columbia Savings & Loans, Mechanics & Farmers Bank, and Unity National Bank, per the report.

“Major League Soccer has raised the bar for corporate America with this transformative partnership,” NBBF co-founder and general counsel Ashley Bell, said. “If other leagues and major corporations follow the MLS model, lives of Black families all across this country will change for the better because their local Black bank will have the capital resources to approve historic numbers of home and small business loans.”

“This transformative partnership between MLS and Black banks around the country is evidence of what can happen when leaders courageously stand up and decide to participate in equitable change,” added Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of King Center and Board Member of the NBBF.

King continued: “I brought MLS and NBBF together because I saw an opportunity to create a partnership with the power to transform lives in Black communities and change hearts and minds throughout our nation. This deal undoubtedly marks an important moment in the continuing struggle for civil rights in the United States.”

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Major League Soccer Launches Partnership with Black-owned Banks  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com