News release: City of Tucson Moves $5M Into Local Bank

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Media Contact: Deanna Chevas [email protected] 520-333-2073

City of Tucson makes a big investment in the local economy Local First Member continues tradition of lending to Tucson businesses

Tucson, Ariz. (August 22, 2013)-- The City of Tucson made an investment in Tucson’s future when it deposited $5 million into locally-owned Alliance Bank of Arizona as part of the Community Banking Program that was established in May. The goal of the program is to increase access to capital for local businesses and individuals. Small businesses have had trouble getting loans approved since the banking crisis five years ago, which has stymied growth and kept many thriving businesses from expanding or hiring. Alliance Bank was one of seven financial institutions solicited for this program because of its exemplary history with local lending.

Alliance Bank of Arizona's banking model focuses on locally owned small and midsize businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Tucson area. In its tenth year in existence, Alliance Bank of Arizona has extended over $1 billion in loans in the Tucson area for projects to improve the quality of life and the growth of local businesses and organizations. Mercado San Agustin was one such project supported through financing from Alliance Bank. The Mercado includes a community kitchen as well as restaurant and retail space, and hosts the Santa Cruz Farmers Markets on Thursdays.

The Community Banking Program will accelerate local lending in addition to further capitalizing a strong community bank helping Arizonans borrow needed funds. "This is yet another way we can spur job growth, keeping taxpayer dollars local so area businesses can access loans to open a new location or expand an existing one," Council Member Karin Uhlich said.

Banking locally has a major impact on the local economy. Local banks, like other local businesses, keep more money recirculating in the local economy through retained profits, direct employment, second and third tier jobs and more. Local lending institutions also lend more money to local businesses and nonprofits than non-local institutions largely because of localized decision-making, which allows local businesses to access needed capital to grow.

Alliance Bank became a Sustaining Member of Local First Arizona in July. “We are proud to be working with such a quality bank,” said Kimber Lanning, who is the Executive Director of Local First Arizona, “and this additional cash injection will only spur new growth and expansion in the Tucson market.”

Alliance is an Arizona based bank with branch locations in Flagstaff, Sedona, Tucson, Mesa, Scottsdale and Phoenix. Businesses and individuals are encouraged to apply for loans at a local Alliance Bank branch.

The City of Tucson also has $20 million in HUD-backed funds ready to be accessed for economically beneficial projects. Tucson Community Development loans carry highly competitive interest rates with fixed terms up to 20 years. Eligible activities include real property acquisition, rehabilitation of real property, relocation, clearance and demolition, site preparation, public facilities improvements, issuance costs, capitalized interest and reserves. Interested parties should contact Andy Squire in the City's Economic Development Office, at 520-837-4094.

About the Alliance Bank of Arizona: Alliance Bank was founded in 2003 and has positioned itself as a "super community" bank delivering a broader product array and larger credit capacity than a traditional community bank. Its focus is relationship-based, personalized service, the latest in technology and lending capabilities to meet the needs of virtually any Arizona business.

About Local First Arizona: Founded in 2003 by Director Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona (LFA) is the largest alliance of independent businesses in the country, working to strengthen communities and local economies through supporting, maintaining, and celebrating locally owned businesses throughout the state of Arizona. LFA educates citizens, stakeholders, business leaders, and legislators about the significant environmental, economic, and cultural benefits of strong local economies.