First Southwest Bank’s efforts to help our community during the COVID-19 Pandemic were recognized during a hearing hosted by the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services on June 3rd
You can listen to Congressman Tipton’s remarks starting at the one 1 hour, 16 minute and 25 second mark (1:16:25) or read his remarks below. Watch the video in its entirety here
Congressman Tipton: Thank you Mr. Chairman, appreciate the opportunity to be able to listen to our panel today. This is a challenging time for all of us in all of our communities, especially rural counties like I represent. In Durango, Colorado in my district First Southwest Bank, a CDFI, is doing an outstanding job to be able to respond to the needs of the community. Through the Paycheck Protection Program, First Southwest has secured nearly $55 million in funding which has gone directly to 747 small businesses across 83 Colorado towns. It retained an estimated 6,666 jobs. In addition to rising to meet the challenges of the pandemic through the PPP, First Southwest has gone above and beyond through it’s $8 million community fund initiative. Through its community fund First Southwest’s associated 501c3, First Southwest has prioritized COVID-19 pandemic responses for small business. The Community Fund has stood up a Micro-Grant Program targeted to rural businesses, Emergency Loan Program, and Rapid Response and Recovery Fund to be able to help with recovery costs. Over 60% of the applicants did not receive or apply for PPP Loans. On top of all this, First Southwest has also offered 1,656 hours of free financial counseling to 1441 individuals in the first five months of 2020 alone. Clearly then, CDFIs do have a unique ability to be able to serve communities when they’re centralized and an important role to be able to play in response to crisis. One dedicated CDFI in my district can have such an impact on its community with it's core mission, to be able to help others, so too can other CDFIs have an uplifting effect across the country. I’d encourage all of our colleagues to work together on both sides of the aisle to be able to continue support funding for CDFIs during the appropriations process. Additionally CDFIs can have such an impact on the communities they serve we should also think about expanding their reach.