Mar 9, 2021
For the smallest businesses, an exclusive chance to line up for PPP loans
Over the last two weeks, the Small Business Administration has been limiting Paycheck Protection Program loan applications to businesses with fewer than 20 employees. The idea was to help the smallest businesses apply before the program expires at the end of the month. How has the process has been going?
Mar 8, 2021
Black-owned banks, online challengers compete for customers of color
As challenger banks seek to acquire more customers of color, Black-owned banks say the value they provide to traditionally underserved communities goes beyond what the online upstarts can offer. These more traditional, minority-owned banks "take a broader role in people's lives and a broader role in communities," Kevin Cohee, owner, chairman and CEO of OneUnited Bank....
Feb 15, 2021
How Optus Bank is helping small businesses succeed
Norman Mills stood outside Royal Automotive Techs, the auto repair shop he co-owns in Columbia, South Carolina, while a photographer asked him to look at the camera and pose naturally. Instantly, Mills flashed a contagious smile.
Feb 15, 2021
A Conversation with Dominik Mjartan, Optus Bank
Optus Bank was founded 100 years ago by visionary African American leaders who established Victory Savings and Loan to provide access to capital to individuals and business excluded from the banking system. Today, the bank is now called Optus Bank, but the focus remains the same. It is a community bank whose mission is to close the wealth gap created by systemic disparities in the financial industry.
Feb 12, 2021
SC’s only Black-owned bank receives multi-million equity investment from Wells Fargo
With the capital from Wells Fargo, Optus Bank can be more equipped to help local minority communities by offering more small business loans, mortgage loans, financial education and a larger deposit-taking capacity. This growth can help meet the bank’s mission to serve those previously unbanked, underbanked and historically underserved.
Feb 8, 2021
Wells Fargo Invests in Six Black-Owned Banks
Wells Fargo today announced equity investments in six African American Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) as part of its March 10, 2020, pledge to invest up to $50 million in Black-owned banks. As part of the capital investment, the banks will have access to a dedicated Wells Fargo relationship team that will provide financial, technological, and product development expertise in order to help each institution grow and benefit their local community.
Jan 15, 2021
Footnotes Episode 12: Dom Mjartan
Dominik Mjartan, CEO of Optus Bank, has a mission to create equal access to financial services and asset building opportunities for all. Growing a community doesn't start with helping someone pull themselves up by their bootstraps, it starts with giving them boots.
Jan 14, 2021
Duke Energy establishes relationship with Optus Bank to support minority-owned businesses
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) announced today it has deposited $5 million into Optus Bank, a Black-owned bank based in South Carolina, furthering the company’s support for diverse and minority-owned businesses, individuals and low income communities. The transaction was completed at the end of 2020. One of approximately 20 banks designated as Black or African American owned in the U.S., Optus Bank will use the money Duke Energy deposited to provide other minority-owned businesses and underserved communities equal access to capital loans and financial services.
Jan 12, 2021
New PPP changes aim to serve businesses owned by marginalized communities
This is the week a new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans became available for pandemic-ravaged businesses. These loans don’t have to be paid back if rules are met. Right now, loans are open for first-time applicants. And the application has to go through community banking organizations — no big banks, for now, at least.
Jan 11, 2021
New COVID-19 relief loans now open. Restaurants, retail expected to lead demand.
COLUMBIA — The Bank of South Carolina is compiling a list of small-business owners calling in asking about more funds from forgivable federal loans as COVID-19 continues to pummel large swaths of the Palmetto State’s economy.