News Release 2009-138 | November 12, 2009

Statement of Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan Following Tour of San Francisco Small Businesses

SAN FRANCISCO—Following a November 10 tour of successful community economic development projects in San Francisco, Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan issued the following statement:

Today I visited small business enterprises in the San Francisco area and saw first-hand the positive impact that banks, community development financial institutions, and non-profit organizations are making on the availability of economic development opportunities.

I toured the Mission District, an economically diverse San Francisco neighborhood, and visited a microenterprise that is giving low-and moderate-income entrepreneurs an opportunity to own and run their own green business. The company provides its worker-owners with over 150 hours of entrepreneurship training as well as instruction on environmentally friendly cleaning techniques. This worker-owned cooperative was established through a partnership between a green cleaning products company and an organization that promotes the social and economic empowerment of low-income women in the San Francisco Bay Area through cooperative business ownership. The cooperative received its financing from a community development financial institution that had been capitalized by banks. The cooperative was able to establish and expand its operations because of the financing it received through national banks and their partners.

I also visited an incubator kitchen whose mission is to train and develop food entrepreneurs. This commercial kitchen space helps enhance market opportunities by providing caterers and potential restaurant owners with instruction on food preparation and business management. Many of these budding entrepreneurs are making the transition from home-based businesses to a professional catering or restaurant business.

I continue to be impressed with how important bank and community economic development partnerships are to creating and preserving jobs that stabilize communities. When national banks partner with community-based organizations they are able to pull together resources and meet the business credit needs of borrowers who don’t fit traditional credit profiles. In securing investment capital and responsible credit for growing enterprises, these bank partnerships bring jobs and opportunity back to economically distressed communities. They are adding to the economic well-being and vitality of cities across the country.

Since assuming office in 2005, Comptroller Dugan has met with community leaders from across the country and toured community development projects in Pittsburgh, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Dallas, and San Francisco.

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