AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Austin-area minority entrepreneurs will benefit from a $16,000 Partnership Grant Program (PGP) award to the Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI). The nonprofit, dedicated to helping minority and low-income small business owners, will use the funds to provide skills training and cover operational expenses for the remainder of 2016.
The grant is the second since 2014 from Comerica Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), bringing the institutions’ combined contribution to $36,000.
“I could not be more thrilled that Comerica Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas are helping the Economic Growth Business Incubator,” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. “This grant will make Austin a more affordable and equitable city by helping us focus entrepreneurial and technological skill-building to the people who need it the most.”
EGBI’s offices are located in East Austin, a designated HUBZone, which means the area has been designated as a “Historically Underutilized Business” Zone by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Statistics from EGBI show that 81 percent of its clients are minorities, and of those, 68 percent are Hispanic, and 60 percent are women.
“Austin’s spirit of innovation has led to more than a dozen incubator-like programs in the region, but they are primarily related to technology,” said EGBI Executive Director Al Lopez. “EGBI works to bring skills, training, and resources to an often-overlooked group of hard-working citizens. We appreciate the continued support from Comerica Bank and FHLB Dallas to serve these aspiring and established business owners.”
PGP grants are offered annually through FHLB Dallas’ member institutions via a lottery system. Funds may be used for research, organizational capacity-building, grant- and funding-application assistance, or contractual services.
“We understand the importance of supporting our community’s micro-entrepreneurs,” said Lueretha Slack, vice president of Corporate Public Affairs, Community Reinvestment and North Texas CRA market manager at Comerica Bank. “EGBI’s programs have proven to be a model for success in East Austin. It’s a worthwhile partnership for everyone involved.”
Through the PGP, member institutions contribute $500 up to $4,000 to a community-based organization (CBO). FHLB Dallas matches the contributions at a 3:1 ratio, which provide up to $12,000 in grant money to a CBO. In 2016, FHLB Dallas awarded $225,000 in PGP funds to assist 23 CBOs. Combined with the $96,200 from member institutions, a total of $321,200 was awarded this year.
“Comerica Bank’s commitment to EGBI works to create economic viability for entrepreneurs in underserved areas of Austin, where it has made a tremendous difference,” said Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas. “Thank you, Comerica Bank and EGBI for the opportunity to work with you through our Partnership Grant Program.”
About Comerica Bank
Comerica Bank is a commercial banking subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico. Comerica reported total assets of $71.3 billion at June 30, 2016. To find us on Facebook, please visit www.facebook.com/ComericaCares. Follow Comerica on Twitter at @ComericaCares and follow Comerica Chief Economist Robert Dye on Twitter at @Comerica_Econ.
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 $54.4 billion as of June 30, 2016, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 850 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. Visit fhlb.com for more information.