Fulton County and Chairman Rob Pitts deposits $10 Million into minority-owned banks
Following a push by Fulton County Chairman Rob Pitts to have county funds deposited into minority-owned banks, his efforts became a reality this week. $10 million of the American Rescue Plan money Fulton County received has been deposited into minority-owned financial institutions in metro-Atlanta. During a ceremony, Pitts presented jumbo checks to Unity National Bank, which is African American owned, and Loyal Trust Bank, which is Asian owned. Each received a $5 million deposit. Many believe that Pitts has created a program model for other governments across Georgia to follow if they are serious about changing the narrative on this issue.
“This is a major issue for me and the rest of Fulton County. I’m thrilled to be here today with these big checks and an even bigger commitment to helping minority owned banks thrive,” Pitts said in a statement. “Minority-owned banks are a cornerstone of Fulton County and today’s deposits show we are serious about investing in these institutions.”
Pitts’ action follows a vote last month during the Fulton County Board of Commissioners meeting where they adopted legislation encouraging the deposit of federal funds allotted to the county into these institutions. Pitts sponsored the resolution on June 2, and it passed with the support of all Fulton County Board Commissioners.
“There were only 18 or 19, as we stand before you today, Black-owned banks in the United States of America and that’s a tragedy. So, with this effort I think that we are starting something again here in the state of Georgia, in Fulton County, and in the City of Atlanta that is going to spread,” said Fulton County Board Chairman Robb Pitts.
During the ceremony, Pitts and representatives from the banks each highlighted the community impact the deposits in these banks will have. Said Pitts, “some minority borrowers may have a hard time borrowing from traditional banks. The minority-owned banks receiving the funds, Loyal Trust Bank and Unity National Bank, are institutions that are more likely to provide loans to minority borrowers.”
“This isn’t just about $5 million — this is an effort spearheaded by Chairman Pitts to recapitalize minority owned businesses,” George Andrews from Unity National Bank said in a statement.
“The expectation is that we will reinvest this money in the community,” Rose Jarboe, the chairwoman of Loyal Trust Bank, added. “We really want to work on small business loans and getting those started.”