ATLANTA - As FOX 5 continues to highlight Black achievement during Black History Month, we look at banking. Access to credit is fundamental to financial growth and stability.
Black-owned or -operated banks and credit unions are nationwide, but many are focused right here in the Southeast.
Bank Black promotes these financial instituions and tracks them on their website. And many are concentrated in the Southeast. You can go in closer and check out a great map on Blackout Coalition to see what we have here in metro Atlanta.
Here’s a handy list of what's available in the state.
- First Choice Credit Union
- Carver State Bank
- Citizen’s Trust Bank
- Credit Union of Atlanta
- Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Federal Credit Union
- Unity National Bank branch
But let's focus in on First Choice Credit Union. Cassius F. Butts is the president and CEO. He told the Fox 5 I-Team his teams offer everything that a bank does - mortgages, credit card and auto loans. And this credit union serves a broad group of employee networks.
"It’s important for people to realize we have employee groups from the Morehouse School of Medicine, from the Emory University School of Medicine. We have folks like the Black Clergy. We also have the Atlanta Business League. We have a lot of special employee groups who are part of our membership. And we are expanding."
First Choice Credit Union teamed up with The Gathering Spot at the westside’s old Southern Railway North Avenue yards. This is a meeting place. And the members are entrepreneurs, lawyers, small business owners, and creatives. Everybody. They meet, work, lunch, and interview. It's an incubator for business growth. And First Choice Credit Union is here now, too, offering loan and business advice.
"The connection is that you have a place, Dana, for people who are of African-American descent or other nationalities who come to The Gathering Spot who are looking to bank, looking to start and grow their business. We are looking to have a place for those entrepreneurs, those creatives who are looking for access to capital. Instead of them coming to us, we came to them," Mr. Butts explained.
In addition to The Gathering Spot, there are more traditional banking locations in Grady Hospital and on Auburn Avenue.
Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.