Dear Friends of Southern,

It’s been a busy and impactful end of the year for the Southern Bancorp organization - from the announcement of Southern’s $2 million financial award from the CDFI Fund, to Southern’s participation in the pilot project of an exciting new social-impact tech startup, to our work teaching financial basics in classrooms throughout the Mississippi Delta. We were also proud to see some of our work and partners featured in publications such as American Banker and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, both of which we've linked below.

However, the stories we're most proud of are those of our clients and customers. You'll find in this newsletter a video highlighting a hardworking entrepreneur in one of the nation's most impoverished communities. It's her pursuit of the American Dream that we strive to support and encourage. It's why we have committed ourselves over the next ten years to creating and retaining 100,000 jobs like those featured in this video. If you're interested in helping turn these dreams into reality, please let us know. From investing in our work to simply banking with us, you can make a difference in these communities - and the lives of those living in them.

We’re happy to share this snapshot of our recent work, and we look forward to sharing more in the new year. Until then...

Best wishes and Happy Holidays,

Nathan Pittman
Director of Communications
Southern Bancorp, Inc.

News Release: Southern Bancorp Community Partners, a 501(c)(3) loan fund and financial development organization working in partnership with Southern Bancorp to create economic opportunity in economically distressed and underserved markets, has been awarded $2 million through the Financial Assistance program of the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund.
Click here to read the news release with quotes from U.S. Sen. John Boozman and U.S. Rep. French Hill.
As consumers, we regularly have the opportunity to choose to do business with companies that support or share our interests. A new Chicago-based fintech company, Mighty Deposits, is taking that choice to the banking level by developing a new platform that will connect individuals with banks that share their values.

Southern Bancorp, along with City First Bank of DC, is participating in the Mighty pilot project which will evolve into a public platform over the coming months. Visit Mighty Deposits on the web to learn more about their work and progress, or check out a recent Fast Company article about them here.
Southern Bancorp's Rita Cauthen speaking to students about banking
A Banker in Every Classroom

In conjunction with the Mississippi Bankers Association, Southern recently helped bring bankers and teachers together at the local level to teach students good financial habits. The program aligns with Southern’s ten year goal of empowering 1,000,000 people to save through both traditional savings accounts and financial education. Photo: Southern's Rita Cauthen speaks to students at Sherard Elementary in Clarksdale. Click here to learn more.
DEC 14, 2016

Digital banking has given customers a clearer picture of how they are managing their finances. Some may soon expect that kind of transparency in the way banks lend their deposits. Several studies have found that millennials are either apathetic or distrusting of the banking industry. But some say that one of the ways banks — specifically impact-based banks — can connect with young people is to do a better job in sharing the work they do in their communities.

Click here to read the full article.
Renewed interest gives Helena-West Helena hope
By Eric Besson

HELENA-WEST HELENA - Renewed industrial interest in Helena-West Helena's Mississippi River harbor - and people taking a chance on its ailing downtown strip - have generated hope among some that the future of this 12,000-person city will be better than its recent past.

Click here to read the full article covering one of our communities and many of our customers and partners.
VIDEO: Southern is committed to helping businesses like the Delta Ice Box in Helena, Arkansas grow and thrive. Over the next ten years we are committed to supporting the creation or retention of 100,000 jobs.
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