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Press Release – February 6, 2002

Southern Financial Partners received a $200,000 grant and a $1 million loan from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. Southern Financial Partners (“SFP”) is a non-profit affiliate of Southern Development Bancorporation.

Southern Financial Partners provides lending services, financial training and technical assistance to small businesses in rural Arkansas and Mississippi to stimulate economic growth. SFP develops customized lending packages to help finance start-up businesses, business expansion and working lines of credit. The grant and loan funds will be used to provide small businesses with capital and provide training, support services and other resources not readily available in many small, rural areas.

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to improving the economic and social well being of Arkansas and its people. Created in 1974 by an endowment from the estate of Governor Winthrop Rockefeller, the Foundation has made gifts and grants of more than $54 million to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. The Foundation’s current primary funding interests are in economic development, education and in promoting economic, racial and social justice.

Since it’s beginning in 1988, Southern Financial Partners has provided more than $30 million in financing to small businesses in Arkansas creating or saving more than 6,000 jobs. They have offices in Arkadelphia, Stuttgart, Helena, and Marianna, Ark. and Ruleville, Miss.

Southern Development Bancorporation is a $350 million development banking organization that offers a full line of financial products and economic development services to residents in rural Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta. The services include: bank credit, low-income housing development, small business assistance, “non-bank” lending, work force training, asset building and advocacy for the poor.

Southern Development has offices in Arkadelphia, Clarendon, Helena, Marianna, Pine Bluff and Stuttgart, Arkansas and Drew, Friars Point, Lambert, Lula, Ruleville and Sledge, Mississippi.