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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 25 January 2006

State Rep. Chip Shields, D-Portland, left; Laila Cully of the Oregon Economic & Community Development Department; Albina Community Bank President and CEO Bob McKean; bank board member Jean Woolley; bank board Vice-Chair Howard Shapiro;  and OECDD Interim Director Mike Salsgiver celebrate the awarding of the $250,000 grant.

Albina Community Bank celebrated its 10th anniversary in style this week when Gov. Ted Kulongoski presented the bank with a $250,000 grant to be used to support small, emerging, minority- and women-owned businesses.

The grant, provided through Kulongoski'sStrategic Reserve Fund, will be used as a loan loss reserve account for the bank's Microenterprise Loan Fund. Such an account reduces the bank's risk in lending to entrepreneurs who may not have the established capital needed to start or grow a business under traditional financing. The grant will allow the bank to assist more entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Portland metro area and other service areas.

"Albina Community Bank helps businesses with small resources dream big," Kulongoski said. "They help business owners that are too often overlooked, creating fresh opportunity in distressed areas. Small businesses are the cornerstone of our economy, so I'm pleased to offer this financial support to help more women- and minority-owned businesses gain a foothold."

Founded in 1995, Albina Community Bank is one of 55 U.S. Treasury-certified community development banks in the United States and the only bank of that kind in the Pacific Northwest. It is a full-service commercial bank providing typical financial products and services while creating economic opportunity. It is a "certified minority bank," meaning that at least 50 percent of its ownership is held by minorities or women.

"We celebrate our 10th anniversary with gratitude to Gov. Kulongoski for his support of our work in the community," said Robert L. McKean, bank president and chief executive officer. "We try to open doors for low- and middle-income entrepreneurs. With this grant from the state, we can open even more doors of opportunity."

The Oregon Economic and Community Development Department, which administered the grant, has been an active participant in Albina Community Bank's efforts to develop small, minority- and women-owned businesses. Since the bank's inception, the agency has provided an additional $210,000 in grants and loans from sources it administers.

As part of the agreement for the grant, the bank will contribute $500,000 in matching funds to the Microenterprise Loan Fund and will partner with other banks to serve minority- and women-owned business in other key areas, such as Hillsboro, Gresham and Woodburn. The bank will offer a small premium to minority service providers for their assistance in packaging loans, assisting with business plans and loan applications and marketing the fund to members and the minority business community at large.

For more information about Albina Community Bank products and services, visit www.albinabank.com. For more information about small-business financing and resources in Oregon, visit www.econ.state.or.us/BIsmbus.htm.

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