James Sills III
M&F Bancorp, Durham, N.C.
Assets: $310 million
Continue and expand the SBA's Partnership for Lending in Underserved Markets (PLUM) Initiative.
I would like to see the administrator continue to create innovative programs to provide access to capital in urban communities to facilitate growth and self-empowerment. The SBA started the Partnership for Lending in Underserved Markets, or PLUM, initiative in September 2016 in collaboration with the Milken Institute. It is designed to support collaborative efforts to more effectively provide capital to minority-owned businesses in the U.S. It was launched in Baltimore and Los Angeles. The goal is to increase the capacity of local lenders to address specific challenges faced by small businesses in accessing capital in their regions. We think this initiative is transferable and can be adapted in other cities. Our community bank is located in the five largest urban areas in North Carolina, and bankers need the SBA to make a concerted effort to push this of type innovative program all across the U.S.