MALVERN, Ark.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Arkansas veterinarian Dr. Richard Hughes has opened Hughes Animal Hospital in Malvern, Arkansas, thanks in part to a $20,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and Southern Bancorp.
A loan from Southern Bancorp, which was funded by an Economic Development Program (EDP) advance from FHLB Dallas, helped pay for a new 4,800 square-foot building for the veterinary practice. An accompanying $20,000 Economic Development Program Plus (EDPPlus) grant helped the veterinary practice operate from a temporary building and purchase equipment such as an X-ray machine, surgery tables and instruments. Local leadership joined Dr. Hughes and bank representatives at a ribbon cutting and grand opening event today.
“This community’s history and economy are rooted in agriculture so there is a great need for the service Dr. Hughes provides in this area,” said City of Malvern Fire Chief Jeremy Harper. “This grant allows Hughes Animal Hospital fulfill a great need in our community and stimulate the local economy.”
Noncompetitive EDPPlus grants are awarded in conjunction with EDP advances through FHLB Dallas members, like Southern Bancorp. The grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis to promote and enhance small business development and job creation. As a result of the grant, Hughes Animal Hospital will hire three full-time employees.
Dr. Hughes said he learned about the loan and grant program from Southern Bancorp.
“The bank was very good to work with. When word got out that I was coming back to town to open a new clinic, Brian Coston called me,” Dr. Hughes recalled. “We had lunch, put together a plan and I applied for the grant.”
Southern Bancorp Senior Vice President Brian Coston said the EDP advance and EDPPlus grant program are useful tools for the rural development bank.
“The grant feature of the EDP package provides a boost our customers need to get their businesses going,” said Mr. Coston. “Dr. Hughes provides a great service to the community and we care about the success of his practice.”
In 2016, FHLB Dallas awarded $1 million in EDPPlus grants in conjunction with EDP advances to 48 businesses in FHLB Dallas’ five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. FHLB Dallas has made available $750,000 in EDPPlus grants through its members this year.
“The EDP advance and EDPPlus grant programs help our members support economic development and stimulate the economy,” said Gustavo Molina, SVP and chief banking operations officer at FHLB Dallas. “We’re thankful for Southern Bancorp’s partnership and commitment to the community.”
Dr. Hughes said he is happy to have his own practice again. He sold his original practice after 24 years to pursue activities within various trade associations, such as American Brahman Breeders Association. Dr. Hughes, who owns a ranch and tends to his own 80-head herd of cows, said he is excited to be back in business.
“I’m 57 years old and still have a lot of years left,” said Dr. Hughes. “I’m excited to pursue my livelihood in this new building.”
About Southern Bancorp
Southern Bancorp, Inc., a bank holding company; Southern Bancorp Community Partners, a tax exempt lending and development organization; and Southern Bancorp Bank, one of America's largest rural development banks were founded in 1986 by then Governor Bill Clinton, Wal-Mart Chair Rob Walton, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and others who were concerned about the economic decline of rural Arkansas. All three are U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) collectively known as “Southern.” With $1.2 billion in assets, 80,000 customers at its 44 locations in Arkansas and Mississippi. On the web at banksouthern.com & southernpartners.org.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $62.9 billion as of June 30, 2017, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community investment by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 850 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit fhlb.com.