This article is part of the Success Spotlight Series, which features black-owned banks serving various communities throughout the United States. Today, we’re shining a spotlight on First Independence Bank.
Before we share about this bank and how you can support them, it’s important we understand the urgent need to support black-owned banks and the different ways we can provide support. There’s a common misconception that in order to support a black-owned organization, you must become a patron, customer, or client. There other a few other ways to show support.
Three ways to support black-owned businesses and banks
1.Increase your awareness. To provide support, you first need to know what’s out there. So the first priority is to find out what you can support.
How can you find out what black-owned organizations are available for you to support locally and nationally? A quick note on reliability. It’s a shame but there are businesses popping under the guise of being black-owned when they’re not.
This has been especially prevalent recently, while the Black Lives Matter movement has been getting a lot of attention. There are companies that have taken advantage of the attention, and started initiatives pretending to be black-owned (for example, by featuring images of black people on their About page). But the business is not owned or affiliated with black people. They are intentionally branding themselves and targeting a black audience to cash in on what is ‘trending’ at the moment.
For these reasons, we need to stay vigilant about who we support and do our own research and due diligence.
Here are resources to help you find black-owned organizations:
- Support Black Owned: Website and mobile app where you can search and find black-owned businesses.
- African American Literature Book Club: T You can use this database to find bookstores throughout the United States that are black-owned.
- EatOkra: The EatOkra app is useful for finding Black-owned restaurants and food providers.
- Another option is to search social media (particularly Instagram and Twitter) for relevant hashtags, for example, #supportblackbusiness, #supportblack, #blackownedbanks #buyblack.
More websites, apps, and databases for finding Black-owned businesses:
2.Become a patron – can you become a patron of the business or set up an account if its a bank? This is the most obvious way to support black-owned organizations. Buy something, become a client, open an account.
Of course, do your own due diligence to find out if the organization is a good fit for you. Even if you’re not in the same physical location as an organization, you may still be able to patronize them. Many businesses offer online services and some banks even offer online accounts, which can be opened from any location.
3.Spread the word. Spreading the word is the oldest, and often most effective way to give your support. And not just once, but you can do this over and over. We now have social media, which makes spreading the word even easier. Sometimes it’s a simple as clicking a few links.
You can share about a black-owned bank or business by telling friends and family, sharing links and stories on social media, and also via email. When we spread the word, we create a network of people and organizations helping each other to build and grow our communities.
Now that we’re clear on ways to support black-owned businesses and banks, let’s get specific with an example of a black-owned bank, First Independence Bank.
First Independence Bank
“To be a well-managed financial institution respected by customers, regulators and financial peers.
First Independence Bank’s mission is to be a beacon for capital accumulation for individuals and business entities by delivering financial services with an affinity for under-served and minority communities
First Independence Bank, a state‐chartered commercial bank, complies with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and ordinances of the City of Detroit, the County of Wayne, the State of Michigan, and the federal government. “ -From the president of First Independence Bank.
First Independence Bank was founded on May 11th, 1970, and has served the Detroit Metropolitan area for over 50 years. They’re committed to providing quality services to the communities they serve.
Treasury management services
Main Office Branch:
7310 Woodward Ave., Ste. 101
Detroit, MI 48202
FAX (313) 256-8203
Seven Mile Branch:
7020 W. Seven Mile Rd.
Detroit, MI 48221
FAX (313) 342-0902
Clinton Township Branch:
38880 Garfield Rd.
Clinton Township, MI 48038
One of the outstanding features of First Independence Bank is its commitment to financial literacy. The bank provides a suite of financial literacy resources such as videos about financial planning and management. You can find some of their resources HERE.
We all have an opportunity to help close the wealth gap and build stronger communities. If we take a few moments to either patronize black-owned organizations or spread the word, we’re doing what we can to be a part of something much grander than ourselves. This is how change and growth happens.