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Bank on black business


NEW YORK -- Fresh off a new $55 million infusion of capital, Carver Federal Savings Bank of New York is opening two new branches at 1392 Fulton St. and 833 Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn.
Carver also announced an alliance with Chexar Networks to offer full-service check cashing. John Spencer, Carver chief retail officer, said  "Our decision was heavily influenced by Chexar's strong technology which gives us the best opportunity to say yes to our customer. We have launched the Chexar solution in all nine branches and are extremely pleased with both the service and our consumer experience. "
Carver is A  Piece of the Pie selection for the first day of National Black Business Month, Monday, Aug. 1, when our industry choice is banking.   31Ways31Days suggests visiting at least one black business each day of the month.  Making a deposit in one of the member banks of the National Bankers Association or investing in one of the publicly traded financial companies like Carver, Citizens Trust or Broadway Federal expands access to capital, particularly for business and residential purposes.
Like other selectees  Atlanta's Citizens Trust Bank, which is 75 years old, Liberty Bank and Trust in New Orleans and Broadway Federal Bank in Los Angeles, Carver focuses on serving populations which have been largely overlooked by the financial industry.
Citizens Trust, an anchor of the Sweet Auburn business and cultural district at 75 Piedmont Ave. adjacent to Atlanta Life Insurance Co., is now expanding into Columbus, GA, Birmingham and Eutaw, AL.
Broadway Federal has been led by Paul C. Hudson since 1981. Hudson is active in civic life in the Los Angeles area as chairman of the Redevelopment Agency commission and several non-profit boards.  Broadway's headquarters is one of the landmarks of the Crenshaw business district.
Liberty, the lifeline of the black community during Hurricane Katrina, recently helped preserve a monument to black business. The mid-city home of Smith Wendall Green, an African American millionaire who made his fortune as a grocer early in the 20th century, was successfully "lifted" from its site at 219 S. Miro St. after preservationists and the City of New Orleans worked with the U.S. Veterans Administration to save the historic home from demolition.
Built in 1928 by the architects of the Louisiana Governor's Mansion and Charity hospital, the Green Mansion is considered a rare example of an opulent turn-of-the-century African-American home.  Paul Sylvester, proprietor of Sweet Lorraine's Jazz Club, and his partner Terry Mogilles, own the property. "When we found out the history of the home, it blew us away," Sylvester said.  "That only made us more determined to make sure this house is saved."
Alden McDonald, President and CEO of Liberty Bank & Trust Company, said the bank is honored to help preserve this slice of history.  "The accomplishments of the black community in the early 20th century were significant. There was a lot of entrepreneurship," McDonald said. "Just think, S.W. Green was the richest black man in New Orleans with a fortune of over 10 million dollars.  He also owned a major commercial building in downtown New Orleans. And now, we are fortunate to have an entrepreneurial couple who want to save the Green mansion and ensure his legacy survives. Liberty Bank will be working with the owners of this property to not only preserve history, but to showcase it."
Liberty now has financial institutions operating in seven major urban areas (New Orleans, Baton Rouge, LA – Jackson, MS – Houston, TX – Kansas City, MO – Kansas City, KS – Detroit, Michigan) and six states (Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, and Michigan).
This is an example of how observing 31Ways31Days by patronizing African-American business creates jobs and revitalizes communities.

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