Milwaukee)—Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce announced on February 21st its commitment to deposit $1 million in Columbia Savings & Loan Association—Wisconsin’s only Black-owned bank. The $1 million deposit from the chamber marks one of the largest deposits in the bank’s 99-year history, and this single commitment will increase the size of the bank’s total assets by 4%.
Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce launched the 3,000 Black Business Challenge, an unprecedented economic development initiative, to increase entrepreneurship and employment throughout our community. Focused on increasing Black business startups and expansions. The Chamber’s mission is to make Black people the largest employer of Black people.
“Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce and Columbia Savings & Loan Association have both been committed to strengthening the Black community since the founding of our organizations,” said Chamber CEO Ruben Hopkins. “By depositing these funds with Columbia Savings & Loan Association, the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce is making sure its dollars will have an even greater impact in our community.”
Columbia Savings & Loan Association’s Board Chair Ernest Jones echoed Hopkins’ message, “Many people and businesses do not realize the positive impact their banking can really have on our community. By boldly including the Black-owned bank as part of its overall financial services relationships, Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce’s substantial deposit is making it possible for Columbia to lend to even more families and business owners.”
Metro Milwaukee has the second-lowest homeownership rate in the nation for Black families. Columbia Savings & Loan Association Executive Vice President Will Martin pointed out, “For every $1 million in new deposits, this savings and loan association can help 10-12 more families become homeowners in our neighborhoods—often paying less in a mortgage payment than in rent. That’s the kind of combined impact we can have when our institutions come together to help our people.”
Hopkins challenged families and the business community to follow the Chamber’s lead and make Columbia Savings & Loan Association a part of their banking. “A number of entrepreneurs use the equity in their homes toward financing their business startup. Banking with Columbia means more Black families becoming homeowners and opening the door to greater future entrepreneurship benefiting our community.”
Jones echoed Hopkins’ message, “Columbia Savings & Loan Association welcomes families, businesses, and government agencies to become new depositors. Every new deposit helps Columbia create more homeowners in our community.”