2017. What a year. When the clock struck midnight on December 31, it was almost as if the whole city exhaled together in gratitude. We felt it too. Our customers and our city experienced political and social changes in ways most of us didn’t see coming. And because of those challenges, there’s also a collective sentiment, or inhale, of hope and positive expectation for 2018. This hopeful anticipation has us really excited.
Why? Because on this second day of 2018, we’ve set our intentions toward gratitude, generosity and prosperity. We are also back to working toward a more financially inclusive economy which these values inform. For the next few months, we’ll be exploring what financial inclusion really means. As The World Bank defines it, financial inclusion is key to reducing poverty and boosting prosperity. We think we’ve been working toward it by offering accessible loan products to the under-resourced and un-banked. And—- what would it look like if everyone in the Bronx was included in the local and national economy? Eric Pallas, our President, says, “It would look like a neighborhood in which more people are employed and more small businesses can flourish with economic success [at least in part].” We want to understand this more and do our best to include others in every product and service we offer. To understand financial inclusion, we’ll be sharing great stories from our small business and nonprofit customers, including those in our Community Chest Savings Program, about their local impact and how they define and incorporate inclusion in their work.
Part of financial inclusion is building credit and wealth. So, to kick the year off, you can look forward to useful content to strengthen your financial health through saving, giving and building credit. We’ll be sharing tools to support your small business, nonprofit and young, growing family. Look for tips around cash flow for your start-up; saving vs. paying off debt and the differences between philanthropic giving and social impact investment. And, if there’s ever a financial topic you’d like to learn more about, ask us!
Yeah, it’s going to be an amazing year.
Cheers to you, your family, our world-class city and the inclusion of all people!