In an effort to close the national wealth gap, seven black owned banks and Major League Soccer (MLS) announced a partnership last month. For the first time in history, MLS will provide a $25 million grant to the National Black Bank Foundation (NBBF). The partnership is described as a commercial financial transaction exclusively for Black financial institutions. According to MLS, the multi-million dollar loan will:
- help grow the banks’ capital through fees and interest
- open up the banks’ ability to open up new lines of credit for homes and new small businesses for Black communities around the nation
NBBF general counsel and co-founder, Ashley Bell, said “Major League Soccer has raised the bar for corporate America with this transformative partnership.” In a news release, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said “it’s the right business decision for us.”
Charlotte’s major league soccer team, Charlotte Football Club, played it’s first MLS game in February of this year. It is unknown if any of the black owned banks in North Carolina are included in the partnership.