As the only CDFI-certified rural bank west of the Rocky Mountains, at First Southwest Bank we think about our community a bit differently. Recently, we’ve donated funds to our region’s SNAP Double-Up program, giving low-income neighbors the opportunity to utilize food stamps at their local farmers’ markets. We’re also committed to increasing financial literacy knowledge in rural Colorado, by offering financial counseling, funding a high school financial education program, Banzai, and annually volunteering for the upcoming Teach Children to Save Day. Most importantly, we’re able to creatively fund small business loans for entrepreneurs in rural Colorado regions that other banks just simply can’t — because of the unique opportunities being CDFI-certified lends us.
Instead of competing with other banks to do business in our neighborhood, we’re busy finding ways to work together. One uncommon yet productive partnership we’ve established with likeminded banks is helping them improve their Community Reinvestment Act Rating. Intermediate Small Banks and larger can place investments in First Southwest Bank through certificates of deposits; because we are a CDFI, those banks receive CRA credit. Moreover, by depositing in First Southwest Bank these banks are making a dynamic and long-term impact on their community’s progress and opportunities. First Southwest Bank will utilize these funds to continue to offer unique lending opportunities — that most banks can’t — to small businesses in underserved markets, which in turn grow our community.
We’re always eager to support community events, sponsor fundraisers and host customer appreciation days, but we go beyond that. We’re driven to find every opportunity possible to support the small businesses in our community that deserve, yet can’t always easily find, the guidance they need to grow.