During National Black Business Month, Regions Bank is highlighting Black entrepreneurs and organizations like the National Urban League, who are helping small-business owners build long-term success.
Small Business Matters.
That was the theme at the entrepreneur summit at the National Urban League Annual Conference. And Regions, which has a rich history with the organization, played a significant role at the Houston gathering in highlighting a shared priority: supporting and advancing Black-owned businesses.
“Small and minority-owned businesses are important drivers for our local economies – in small towns, rural communities and large metropolitan areas,” according to Leroy Abrahams, head of Community Affairs at Regions Bank.
“At Regions, we understand how critical it is for these businesses to flourish, and teams across the bank work to serve, support and provide resources to ensure their success and continue to create more inclusive economic development in our communities.”
Abrahams was on hand for the National Urban League conference, along with Latrisha Jemison, Regional Community Development Manager and other members of Community Affairs. They were joined by a team of Regions bankers who participated in a panel discussion at the Small Business Matters Entrepreneurship Summit.
“The National Urban League Conference is one of our most important events of the year,” Jemison said. “And being able to engage with Black business owners and entrepreneurs and provide advice and guidance to them was a great opportunity for us.”
Small and minority-owned businesses are important drivers for our local economies – in small towns, rural communities and large metropolitan areas
Leroy Abrahams, head of Community Affairs at Regions Bank
Supporting and Elevating Businesses
The discussion was led by Chad Cargile, Commercial Banking leader at Regions, and focused on a very timely topic: rising interest rates and the special challenges experienced by small business owners.
“Our Regions Bank team is incredibly proud to welcome the National Urban League Annual Conference to Houston,” Cargile said as he opened the discussion.
“Regions is committed to supporting and elevating small businesses, particularly in under-resourced communities, to help advance their growth. We know that every entrepreneur’s journey is different, meaning every small-business owner has different needs.”
Cargile then introduced the panel, which included Carl Brown, Regions branch manager; Shawntay Johnson, Regions Commercial Banking relationship manager; Eric Goodie, senior vice president of the Houston Area Urban League; and Phillip Yates, co-founder of Diversity Fund Houston and founder of EQUILIBERTY, INC.
The group talked about the challenges small businesses are facing with rising interest rates – from each of their unique vantage points. They provided tips, tools and resources – and also discussed how an unpredictable rate environment can actually introduce opportunities.
Regions bankers Brown and Johnson spoke about the importance of relationships and how critical it is to have ongoing dialog during challenging economic times.
“Transparency and trust are key,” Johnson told the audience. “Make sure your banker is aware of your goals, your other banking relationships and any other information that can assist when you’re working together to identify solutions.”
The team received positive feedback about the session, and the Regions bankers were available after the discussion to spend extra time with audience members for additional one-on-one advice about their small-business needs.
In addition to the Small Business Matters Entrepreneurship Summit, Regions associates were also involved in the NUL conference’s Community Day event and other programs.
“The National Urban League has been advocating for economic justice for African Americans for more than 100 years,” Jemison said. “I’m pleased that we can work together toward common goals – such as providing support for Black-owned businesses. And I look forward to continuing this relationship for many years to come.”
This short video, which highlights some examples of Regions’ support of Black-owned business, was shown at the National Urban League Conference.