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NORTH CAROLINA'S 'DEVELOPMENT BANK' WELCOMES CLINTON'S PLAN TO BUILD A NATIONAL NETWORK OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT LENDERS

 Proposal Builds On Achievements Of Self-Help;
 Could Bring Millions Of Dollars To North Carolina
 DURHAM, N.C., July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- President Clinton proposed legislation today to foster and expand a national network of community development financial institutions (CDFIs). The legislation was inspired in part by four existing "development banks" in the United States, including Durham-based Self-Help.
 In a White House ceremony today announcing the proposed four-year, $382 million program, the President praised the successes of groups such as Self-Help in revitalizing distressed urban and rural communities. Self-Help, which has branches in Charlotte, Asheville and Greenville, provides loans and technical assistance to small businesses, homebuyers and non-profit organizations statewide. The proposed legislation would provide up to $5 million a year in capital for existing "development banks" like Self-Help, and up to $2 million for other CDFIs like community development corporations and micro-loan funds.
 Scheduled speakers at the ceremony were NationsBank chief executive officer Hugh McColl, who has supported Self-Help's efforts, and Self-Help borrower Tim Bazemore, founder of the Workers Owned Sewing Company in Bertie County in eastern North Carolina. Also invited to the Rose Garden ceremony, along with Self-Help staff, were North Carolina House Speaker Daniel T. Blue of Raleigh, state Rep. Milton F. "Toby" Fitch Jr. of Wilson, state Rep. Martin L. Nesbitt Jr. of Asheville, and executives from the Z. Smith Reynolds and Mary Reynolds Babcock foundations -- all of whom have supported Self-Help's efforts to provide community development lending across the state.
 "This bold and far-sighted proposal if passed into law, could bring millions of dollars into North Carolina's disadvantaged communities," stated Martin Eakes, executive director of Self-Help. "Thousands of small businesses, low-income families, and community-based organizations could benefit."
 Self-Help is a member of the national Coalition of Community Development Financial Institutions, and Self-Help staff have provided extensive input over the past six months to the task force charged by President Clinton with crafting the legislation. Self-Help staff have also testified before Congressional subcommittees on community development banking.
 "Our track record of providing over $40 million of financing and related assistance to North Carolina entrepreneurs, first-time home-buyers, and community non-profits has demonstrated that specialized CDFIs can meet critical needs that traditional lenders cannot adequately serve," Eakes said.
 As home to one of the nation's four "community development banks" (the others are in Chicago, New York City, and Arkansas), North Carolina is well-positioned to capture a significant share of the resources available nationwide, especially since federal funding will depend on matching grants from non-federal sources. In recent years, the General Assembly and the state's largest banks and foundations have channeled millions of dollars into Self-Help and other CDFIs.
 "The private and public sectors in North Carolina have blazed the trail by judiciously investing in this CDFI network," says Eakes. "Further investments will be multiplied still further as a result of this federal initiative."
 A wide range of North Carolina institutions besides Self-Help could gain from Clinton's proposal. They include strong networks of community development corporations engaged in neighborhood-based lending programs, community development credit unions, and micro-loan funds providing very small loans to self-employed individuals and home-based businesses in minority communities.
 "North Carolina, unlike many states, is already home to a rich diversity of CDFIs that stand to benefit from this federal initiative," noted Katharine McKee, Self-Help Associate Director.
 The Self-Help "development bank" includes the Center for Community Self-Help, a non-profit organization; the Self-Help Credit Union, a federally insured depository; and the Self-Help Ventures Fund, a non-profit revolving loan fund. Since its first loan in 1984, Self-Help has lent over $40 million to North Carolina's small businesses, non-profits and low-income homebuyers. The organization now has about $45 million in assets. In 1992 alone, Self-Help loaned $6.8 million to help 133 families become homeowners and provided $4.9 million in loans to 138 businesses and non-profit groups. Most Self-Help borrowers come from rural, minority or low-income communities.
 -0- 7/15/93
 /CONTACT: Bryan Hassel of Self-Help, 919-683-3016/


CO: Self-Help ST: North Carolina IN: FIN SU:

MM-SB -- CH006 -- 1887 07/15/93 11:07 EDT
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Date:Jul 15, 1993
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