'Bank Local' Initiative Aims To Make Small Business Loans More Accessible

Feb 17, 2017

Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner unveiled a plan Thursday that moves millions of dollars in state deposits to local financial institutions. The "Bank Local" initiative was applauded by Ocean State banks, credit unions, and small business owners during the Statehouse announcement. 

In the last couple of weeks, the treasurer’s office has reported an estimated $4.5 million in transfers. The money was moved from national and international banks to six local ones.

Treasurer Magaziner said the purpose of the initiative is to support small businesses in the state.

"Bank Local increases the amount of capital available to the Rhode Island small businesses, by supporting the local banks and credit unions who are providing those loans," said Magaziner.

Stephanie Keenan of Wakefield is one of the small business owners benefiting from the initiative. She is a first-time business owner of a hair salon and received a "Bank Local" loan from her credit union.

“Programs like this one have a positive impact on small businesses in our state," said Keenan.

One of the selling points of the initiative is that it would aim to bring funds to marginalized groups with historically limited access to loans, like women and people of color.