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LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – Southern Bancorp Bank, wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Bancorp, Inc. and one of the nation’s largest community development banks, has been selected to receive a Bank Enterprise Award of $233,387 from the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund. The BEA program is a performance-based grant program that provides monetary awards to FDIC-insured depository institutions that increase in their lending activities in highly distressed communities.

“We are grateful to the CDFI Fund for once again acknowledging our efforts to increase lending and economic development in underserved, low-income communities. This financial award will allow us to grow and build upon our mission, which is to be wealth builders for everyone,” said Darrin Williams, CEO of Southern Bancorp, Inc. Since 1996, Southern Bancorp organizations have received 19 financial awards totaling nearly $18 million.

This year the CDFI Fund awarded a total of $22.8 million under the BEA program to 113 financial institutions across the nation, many of which are lending and providing financial services to communities where at least 30 percent of the population lives at or below the national poverty level. To learn more about the CDFI Fund and its financial award program, visit


About Southern Bancorp

Southern Bancorp, Inc., a bank holding company; Southern Bancorp Community Partners, a 501(c)(3) development finance and lending organization; and Southern Bancorp Bank, one of America’s largest rural development banks; were founded in 1986 by a group of business, political and philanthropic leaders who were concerned about the economic decline of rural Arkansas. All three entities are U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) collectively known as “Southern.” With $1.2 billion in assets, 60,000 customers and 46 locations in Arkansas and Mississippi, Southern invests in people and businesses in rural communities; empowers them to improve their lives; and helps them transform their communities. Learn more about Southern on the web at &

About the CDFI Fund

Since its creation in 1994, the CDFI Fund has awarded more than $3 billion to CDFIs, community development organizations, and financial institutions through: the BEA Program; the Capital Magnet Fund, the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, including the Healthy Food Financing Initiative; the Financial Education and Counseling Pilot Program; and the Native American CDFI Assistance Program.  In addition, the CDFI Fund has allocated $54 billion in tax credit allocation authority to Community Development Entities through the New Markets Tax Credit Program, and closed guaranteed bonds in the amount of $1.36 billion through the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program. Learn more about the CDFI Fund and its programs at