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LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – The U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund announced it has awarded $5 billion in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) awards to 107 Community Development Entities or CDEs from across the nation. These CDEs will in turn provide loans, investments, or financial counseling in low-income urban and rural communities. Southern Bancorp is the only Arkansas-based CDE on this year’s list, receiving a $45 million allocation in the latest round. The certified CDFI has received a total of $100 million in NMTC awards over the previous two years – all of which has been allocated for qualified projects.

“We are honored to receive our third allocation of New Markets Tax Credits from the CDFI Fund,” said Darrin Williams, Southern Bancorp, Inc. CEO. “Southern Bancorp has a proven track record of putting investment capital to work in places that need it most, and we will use this award to support projects designed to assist severely distressed communities throughout our service area.”

The New Markets Tax Credit Program, established by Congress in December 2000, permits qualified business taxpayers to receive a non-refundable tax credit against federal income taxes for making equity investments in severely distressed communities. The tax credits are sold to investors to raise capital for specific projects and are claimed over a seven-year period. The CDE then uses the fees earned from the allocation to make further investments in low-income communities.

“The NMTC program is a win-win-win situation, because while investors receive a return on their capital, they and the qualified business ultimately make a lasting economic impact in low-income, severely distressed communities,” said Bill Wright, Southern Bancorp’s West Region CEO and NMTC Program Director. “There’s a strong need for this type of investment in our communities, and I’m proud to say we’ve put 100% of our previous two years’ allocations to work throughout our footprint, and we look forward to quickly putting the latest round to work within these communities.”

To learn more about the New Markets Tax Credit Program and this year’s awardees, please visit

About Southern Bancorp
Founded in 1986 by some of the nation’s leading political, business, and philanthropic leaders with an initial investment of $10 million, Southern Bancorp, Inc., along with its development partners – Southern Bancorp Bank, Southern Bancorp Community Partners, and Premier Bank of Arkansas – has grown into a $2.5 billion asset organization with 54 locations serving 65,000 customers across two states. Southern Bancorp has a unique array of financial products and services designed to help individuals at all stages of life’s financial journey – from teaching kids how to save to helping entrepreneurs and families realize the American Dream. Southern Bancorp is a certified Community Development Financial Institution, certified B-Corp, and proud member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. Learn more at and