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NLC, NationsBank talk reinvestment.

NLC Executive Director Don Borut met with two executives from NationsBank last week to discuss the bank's plans to commit as much as $11 billion in community investment in cities and towns served by NationsBank. NationsBank has branches in nine states and the District of Columbia.

The states are Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland and Virginia.

Cathy Bessant, a senior vice president for NationsBank and Dennis Rash, President of NationsBank Community Development Corporation in Charlotte, N.C. came to NLC to talk about building a working partnership with the National League of Cities and its members.

"For us to be the best bank, we need the best cities" stressed Rash. "If the banking system is going to work, cities need to work."

Both Rash and Bessant were surprised to learn that at least 19 of the 65 cities listed as having the greatest fiscal disparities in a recent NLC survey were in NationsBank territory. The survey illustrated the need to address the underlying problems in cities such as children and families, as well as affordable housing and small business lending.

A recent initiative of NationsBank illustrative of their efforts to address some of the fundamental problems in cities is their Child Care Development Fund. This below-market rate loan program is designed to build and expand existing child-care facilities. The fund has loaned $1.6 million to build new facilities or improve existing ones, creating space for 616 children in the two years since its inception in South Carolina. A disproportionate amount of the loans was made in low income areas. The program now is being extended to other states.

Rash and Bessant offered to talk to local elected officials in any forum possible about ways NationsBank and cities and towns can work together to enhance community investment.

NLC and NationsBank have committed to designing a joint strategy for community investment that involves cities and towns of all sizes and state municipal organizations. Details of these plans will follow in future issues of Nation's Cities We kly.

Bridges are being built and long-term investment in cities and towns will follow.
COPYRIGHT 1992 National League of Cities
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:National League of Cities
Author:Mayer, Virginia
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Apr 6, 1992
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