Chip Jenkins

Chip Jenkins
TBA Chairman

Texas banks shine as the hearts of their communities

Recently, we have seen a tremendous focus on the Paycheck Protection Program and witnessed incredible stories about the role Texas banks have played supporting the small businesses in their communities. Rightly so. Texas bankers have been true heroes, cranking out 389,396 loans totaling more than $41 billion as of June 30. That work has enabled small businesses to keep their doors open and save jobs.

We all know that well beyond PPP, our peers and colleagues play a vital role in supporting our communities in a number of ways — year-round, every year.

This year is no different. Although the PPP program has garnered the lion’s share of attention, Texas banks continue to shine as the heart of our communities in other ways. Read our Cornerstone and LiFE Awards article on page 16 for just a few examples of our industry’s generosity.

Recent events have prompted us to undertake two great examples of charitable efforts that have benefited our communities in many ways.

Texas Banks for Food BanksFirst, the Texas Banks 4 Food Banks campaign. In April, the Texas Bankers Foundation, the charitable arm of TBA, donated $26,000 to the Feeding Texas network of 21 food banks that serve all 254 Texas counties through this initiative. Banks and individual bankers across the state joined the effort. To date, TBA member banks have contributed nearly $1 million to the food bank network and to local pantries across the state.

More recently, Texas banks, through TBA, partnered with LiftFund, a Texas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps very small minority and women-owned businesses through microloans, training and other support services to create a small business disaster relief program. Through the program, “Texas Unity Grants” will provide quick relief when it’s needed most.

To amplify the role your banks play in helping small businesses reopen and recover after manmade or natural disasters, TBA and the Foundation rose to the occasion. The Foundation Board of Directors, composed of community bankers from across the state, approved a contribution of $26,000 to help launch this initiative. Texas banks are now joining the campaign and contributing much-needed dollars.

The long-term mission of the Texas Unity Grant Program is to provide rapid financial support when disaster or tragedy strikes. But the immediate focus of the program is on assisting those small businesses forced to close or halt business operations due to recent property damage, fire, vandalism and other types of business disruption.

Texas Unity GrantsUnity Grants will provide financial support of up to $25,000 to eligible minority and women-owned businesses for damaged facility restoration, temporary business relocation expenses, replacement and/or repair of damaged equipment and inventory and assistance with other items related to rebuilding the business.

As bankers, we understand that when small businesses are hit by disasters or disruptions there is a broader community impact. Think about the small businesses in your communities. We want to do our part to ensure the resiliency of minority and women-owned businesses that not only provide valuable products and services but are critical to the social and economic fabric of our communities.

Both of these initiatives highlight the ongoing actions and charitable nature of Texas banks in our communities. For both of these initiatives, TBA has created dedicated website landing pages to provide information and tools to help you learn more, donate and spread the word. I encourage you to visit and consider contributing to these efforts if you have not already done so. For those of you who have, thank you!

I am proud to be associated with such a big-hearted, charitable industry. Whether it’s putting food on the table for hungry Texans or helping small businesses reopen, The Texas Bankers Association and its member banks embrace the tagline, “Strong Banks. Stronger Communities.” now more than ever.