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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • SBCP launches Community Champions project

  • Southern Bancorp's Community Partners hopes its latest project will encourage public servants to make Helena-West Helena their long-term home.
    SBCP Tuesday announced the launching of Community Champions. According to a press release issued by Southern Bancorp, a rural-focused community development financial institution, the program will provide up to $8,000 in home purchase or renovation assistance.
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  • Southern Bancorp’s Community Partners hopes its latest project will encourage public servants to make Helena-West Helena their long-term home.
    SBCP Tuesday announced the launching of Community Champions. According to a press release issued by Southern Bancorp, a rural-focused community development financial institution, the program will provide up to $8,000 in home purchase or renovation assistance.
    Public servants are defined as teachers, nurses, police officers and firefighters and others who provide valuable services to the Helena-West Helena area.
    A grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is funding Community Champions.
    The money can be used for down payments, closing costs, home repair and energy efficient improvements. In return, the recipients agree to continue living in their homes and working in their professions for at least two years.
    “Southern is on a mission to create economic opportunities in the communities we serve,” stated Brooke Gerber, Community Champions coordinator and Southern Bancorp consultant. “And we know that to realize that success, a strong core of public service professionals living within the community is essential. The Community Champions program rewards those who leverage their time and talents for the good of our community by helping them make Helena their long-term home.”
    Southern Bancorp is facilitating three other projects besides Community Champions in partnership with HUD. The projects are Helena Jobs Incentives, which provides financial incentives to businesses to create jobs in the community; Riverside Renewal Project, which accelerates the revitalization of downtown Helena by providing dollar-for-dollar investment matches for eligible commercial and residential properties; and Helena Start-up Challenge, which awards promising startup businesses with seed capital to help them grow.
    To learn more about the Community Champions program, visit SouthernPartners.org/Community Champions.

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