Fifth Third Bank Becomes Largest Investor in Detroit Minority Depository Institution

With an additional investment of $2.5 million, Fifth Third Bank has become the largest investor in First Independence Bank, the seventh-largest Black-owned bank. The investment is a part of Fifth Third Bank’s $2.8 billion Accelerating Racial Equality, Equity and Inclusion initiative that was introduced in 2020 with a specific focus on the Bank’s Black employees, customers and communities.

Source: Businesswire

SBA’s 6th Annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Debuts SBIR Catalyst Program

The new SBIR component of the competition is designed to spur investment in underrepresented communities within the innovation economy at scale. For the first time, seven additional prizes of $150,000 will be awarded through SBIR Catalyst to scale collaborative partnerships and build regional collaborations. Entries are due by June 25 at 2pm.

Source: Argus Observer

SBA Opens Applications to Community Navigator Pilot Program

The Community Navigator Program established by the American Rescue Plan, will leverage a hub and spoke model in local regions to reach our nation’s smallest businesses, with a priority focus on those owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, as well as women and veterans. Nonprofits and SBA resource partners, as well as state, local, and tribal governments may apply through July 12.

Source: The Bradford Era

Possible Changes to SBA Lending Programs

SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman seeks to overhaul lending programs after its $40 billion lending portfolio jumped to over $1 trillion in loans and grants since the pandemic began. This sharp spike juxtaposed against the disparities of who received funds indicates a need for significant change–and Guzman may just be the one to bring it to fruition.


Can Tech Make FICO Scores a Thing of the Past?

For the past 30 years, the FICO score has been the standard of creditworthiness, but in the advent of new technologies, lenders may turn to better methods of assessing potential borrowers. As lenders gain access to customer data around cash flow and other financial metrics, machine learning and AI will enable predictive analytics that are faster and more accurate than current underwriting processes and metrics.

Source: Forbes