(ATLANTA) Accion Texas Inc.’s Vice President for the Delta Region Lisa Riley recently participated in a Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta meeting to provide insights to the Bank’s community and economic development group on issues facing community development financial institutions.
Accion Texas is the nation’s largest nonprofit microlender to small businesses and is a designated community development financial institution, or CDFI. CDFIs provide affordable, responsible credit, create and sustain jobs, and stabilize communities. Riley’s main message to the community and economic development group at Bank was that small businesses need ongoing support to start up and to grow, especially since more entrepreneurs are starting businesses due to the economy’s continued slow pace of hiring.
“Every day, banks turn down 6,000 small business loan applications. That’s every day,” Riley said. “Small businesses are growing in numbers and because we’re a mission-based lender, there has been no shortage of businesses that need our services.”
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta community and economic development group held is advisory meeting in Atlanta, August 15, and included – along with Riley – Bill Bynum, CEO of HOPE Enterprise/HOPE Credit Union in Jackson, Miss.; Clinton Gwin, president of Pathway Lending in Nashville; Grace Fricks, president and CEO of Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs in Cleveland, Ga.; Ignacio Esteban, CEO of Florida Community Loan Fund; and John O’Callaghan, president & CEO of Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership Inc. The advisory group provided input to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta on trends and market conditions facing CDFIs and the key issues and priorities that the Bank should focus on for the Southeast region.
As the vice president for the Delta region, Riley oversees Accion Texas’s small business lending and education programs in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. She has held this position with the company since January 2014. Riley helped launch Accion’s Alabama operations in January 2012. In total, Accion Texas has made more 205 loans totaling nearly $2.5 million to small businesses in the Delta region since opening in Missouri and Arkansas in 2011 and Alabama and Tennessee in 2012.