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Three Banks Award $33K Grant to Help Support Tourism in Las Vegas, New Mexico

Southwest Capital Bank, Community 1st Bank Las Vegas (Community 1st Bank) and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) have provided $33,000 in Partnership Grant Program (PGP) funds to help a nonprofit foundation in Las Vegas, New Mexico, market the city to tourists.

PGP grants help qualified nonprofit organizations fund a variety of operational and administrative activities that are critical to serving their communities.

The group, previously Las Vegas First Independent Business Alliance, changed its name to Las Vegas First Community Service Foundation (Las Vegas First) this year when it obtained nonprofit status. Its mission is to restore the area’s $13.6 million a year tourism industry.

“This year is anything but normal, and we are grateful for this funding at such a critical time for many small businesses dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Wid Slick, marketing coordinator with Las Vegas First.

Sharon Garcia, market president and senior vice president at Southwest Capital Bank, said the community’s tourism industry has been hit hard by the pandemic.

“Tourism is down everywhere, of course, due to the health concerns surrounding the pandemic,” Ms. Garcia said. “We hope these funds can help Las Vegas First bring visitors back to town when the virus recedes.”

Community 1st Bank COO Yvette Williams said the nonprofit, in its previous iteration as a business alliance organization, has a long history of supporting local businesses.

“The foundation’s focus will be to bring in out-of-town and out-of-state spending, which should benefit our tourist-related businesses,” she said. “We are thankful to be able to provide this funding.”

Funding under FHLB Dallas’ PGP was increased by $2 million in 2020 under FHLB Dallas’ COVID-19 Relief Program to support CBOs involved in affordable housing activities, stimulating small business development or providing small businesses with technical assistance. The use of funds for these organizations was expanded to include COVID-19 relief.

Through this unique grant program, FHLB Dallas member institutions contribute from $500 to $6,000 to a CBO, which FHLB Dallas matches at a new, higher 5:1 ratio (compared to the previous 3:1 ratio) resulting in a match of up to $30,000. If multiple member institutions contribute to the same CBO in one year, the maximum FHLB Dallas match for those member contributions is $60,000 per year. In both cases, the total grant to the CBO would be the sum of the member contribution(s) plus the FHLB Dallas match. Grants are awarded annually through FHLB Dallas and its member institutions.

Greg Hettrick, first vice president and director of Community Investment at FHLB Dallas, said cities of all sizes have dealt with challenging economic conditions in recent months.

“We hope these grant funds will help Las Vegas First tell the city’s story to a wider audience, that, when it’s safe, will come to town to dine, shop and enjoy its amenities,” Mr. Hettrick said.

About Southwest Capital Bank

Southwest Capital Bank is a family-owned bank with deep-rooted history in Las Vegas and Northern New Mexico spanning 130 years. Since its inception in 1890, SWCB has grown into a $345 million financial institution with the majority of that growth happening after opening its flagship branch in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2014. The bank prides itself with CARE, which includes emphasis around Community, Accountability Relationships, and Entrepreneurial Spirit. As a community bank committed to local small businesses and their banking needs, SWCB prides itself with generously giving back to local nonprofits in Albuquerque and Northern New Mexico. SWCB is uniquely focused on New Mexicans, believing in its neighborhoods, cities, and state which is why New Mexico in not only home, it’s where they do business.

About Community 1st Bank Las Vegas

Community 1st Bank Las Vegas is a locally owned and operated $158 million financial institution, chartered in 1949. It has four locations in Las Vegas and Mora, New Mexico. In addition to supporting Las Vegas First and countless other nonprofit organizations, the bank also makes millions of dollars in loans each year to local small businesses and individuals, many of which cannot get the financing they need from out-of-town financial institutions. Most recently, the bank was able to provide SBA’s PPP loans to over 60 local businesses for a total of over $11 million. Community 1st Bank Las Vegas is committed to making Las Vegas, New Mexico and its surrounding areas a better place to live and work for all those who call it home.

About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank system created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $75 billion as of June 30, 2020 is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced advances and other credit products to approximately 800 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas.

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