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Seven Black-Owned Banks To Award $25M Grant To Major League Soccer

By Cherranda Smith, Black Information Network

A group of seven Black-owned banks is partnering with the Major League Soccer on a $25 million grant seeking to close the racial wealth gap in the US.

The historic deal between the MLS and the National Black Bank Foundation (NBBF) was announced Thursday (March 10) and marks the first time ever that a sports league has conducted a commercial financial transaction exclusively with Black financial institutions.

“Major League Soccer’s partnership with the National Black Bank Foundation is a tangible step in the efforts to close the racial economic gap in the United States, and it’s the right business decision for us,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a news release about the deal.

By leveraging the multi-million dollar loan for the financial institutions, the MLS will help grow the banks’ capital through fees and interest, opening up the banks’ ability to open new lines of credit for homes and small businesses for Black communities across the US.

Major League Soccer has raised the bar for corporate America with this transformative partnership,” NBBF co-founder and general counsel, Ashley Bell, said in a statement.

“If other leagues and major corporations follow the MLS model, lives of Black families all across this country will change for the better because their local Black bank will have the capital resources to approve historic numbers of home and small business loans.”

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