(NASDAQ:FXNC) – First Bank announced today the launch of the Banking on Diversity initiative, a minority business funding program to improve and develop local communities.

The Banking on Diversity program was created through a partnership of four community banks in the regions including Suburban Northern Virginia, Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, and Washington County, Maryland. These community banks understand the importance and benefit of having a diverse business community. In addition to First Bank, sponsoring banks include Bank of Clarke County, BCT- The Community’s Bank, and The Fauquier Bank.  

The banks have collectively committed up to $1 million in interest-free loans to aid both startup and existing minority-owned small businesses within the sponsoring community banks’ markets. There are two loan programs: one for start-ups and one for existing businesses. The program is expected to include educational seminars to support the evolution of the business. Qualified businesses may receive only one loan.

Program Guidelines are as follows:

  • Only available to for-profit businesses
  • Must have MBE Certification (Minority Business Enterprise)
  • Annual revenues cannot exceed $1MM (business) or $500k (farms)
  • Business must be located in counties of Clarke (VA), Fauquier (VA), Frederick (VA), Loudoun (VA), Prince William (VA), Shenandoah (VA), Warren (VA), city of Winchester (VA), Berkeley (WV), Jefferson (WV) or Washington (MD)
  • Annual individual loan amounts up to $50,000 (existing business) or $10,000 (new business)
  • New business must have been in existence for at least 3 months.
  • Existing business must have been in existence for more than 2 years
  • Ability to provide documentation as described below

To qualify as a minority-owned business, the business must be 51 percent owned and operated by one or more minority individuals who are United States citizens or legal resident aliens – or – 51 percent equity ownership in a corporation, partnership, or LLC or other entity and is owned by one or more minority individuals who are United States citizens or legal resident aliens, and both the management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more minority individuals.

The Banking on Diversity program is open for application. Those interested may apply by visiting a bank partner’s website or a local branch of their choosing. Though not required, it is encouraged for applicants to apply with a partner bank in their geographic region. The websites of the banks are as follows:

  • Bank of Clarke County: www.bankofclarke.bank    
  • BCT-Bank of Charles Town: www.mybct.bank
  • The Fauquier Bank: www.tfb.bank
  • First Bank: www.fbvirginia.com

About First Bank

First National Corporation (NASDAQ:FXNC) is the parent company and bank holding company of First Bank, a community bank that first opened for business in 1907 in Strasburg, Virginia. The Bank offers loan and deposit products and services through its website, www.fbvirginia.com, its mobile banking platform, a network of ATMs located throughout its market area, one loan production office, a customer service center in a retirement community, and 14 bank branch office locations located throughout the Shenandoah Valley, the central regions of Virginia and in the city of Richmond. In addition to providing traditional banking services, the Bank operates a wealth management division under the name First Bank Wealth Management. First Bank also owns First Bank Financial Services, Inc., which invest in entities that provide investment services and title insurance.

Media ContactKirstie SvehlaMarketing Managerksvehla@fbvirginia.com