Originally created through the foresight of its co-founder, Jesse Mitchell, IndustriÂal Bank has become deeply committed to helping both citizens and businesses thrive throughout all areas of WashingÂton, DCâ€“including the Ward 8 commuÂnity. What started in 1934 as a single bank on U Street, NW, with six employees and $192,000 in assets is now a multiple-branch operation with over 150 employÂees and more than $333 million in assets. However, despite this sustained growth, Industrial Bank has not forgotten that its central purpose is to provide access to capital and credit for those who have been historically denied by traditional lending institutions.
Vice President and Director of Marketing for Industrial Bank, Hermond E. Palmer, Jr., said they â€œwant to be the fuel that helps members of our community to realize their dreams.â€ Besides makÂing commercial and residential loans, Mr. Palmer says that the bank is also very comÂmitted to helping improve the financial literacy of all DC residentsâ€”especially for those who have become so intimidated or confused by financial matters that they fail to create their roadmap to a more secure future. To that end, Industrial Bank conÂtinues to sponsor their informative Money Matters series of financial-related â€œnugÂgetsâ€ on MAJIC FM 102.3 twice a week, and they also run a companion piece in the Washington Informer on a monthly basis.
When asked what DC citizens can do to improve their own financial outlook, Mr. Palmer offered the following tips:
â€¢ Understand the difference beÂtween personal wants and needs: Impulse buying tends to be overly expensive and also counterproductive to establishing a solid, consistent savings plan.
â€¢ Begin to invest in a 401(K) plan immediately and regularly, following this easy tip: Whenever one receives a salÂary or wage increase, they should devote half of those additional weekly or monthly earnings to this type of savings plan. 1 to 2% of earnings are enough to get started, and many employers will match the emÂployeeâ€™s contribution.
â€¢ Start an investment club with friends, family members, neighbors or co-workers: Each member of the club can reÂsearch a different investment category or opportunity, in order to increase the overÂall financial literacy of the groupâ€”having fun while building a network of investment partners at the same time.
â€¢ Generate multiple income streams: Rental properties are a great place to start, of course, but landscaping, snow removal, or waste management businessÂes can also require a similarly moderate upfront investment.
â€¢ Financial planning can and should begin before the onset of marriage and raising children: If someone starts saving and investing with their first job, then they can create a larger nest egg much more easily than if they wait until their 30s or 40s (or 50s) to start securing their financial future.
Furthermore, Mr. Palmer says that Industrial Bank has partnered up in recent years with organizations such as DaVita, and local celebrities like Chuck Brown, in an ongoing effort to connect with the Ward 8 community in ways that go beÂyond the financial. He said, â€œYou canâ€™t really be empowered financially unless youâ€™re empowered holistically, and that means you have to take care of your overall health as well as your financial health.â€ Mr. Palmer stresses the imporÂtance of being equally vigilant about maintaining a good health status as well as oneâ€™s good credit status, and he goes on to say that, â€œIndustrial Bank is commitÂted to the ongoing development of Ward 8, because we canâ€™t thrive unless our entire community is thrivingâ€”we believe that financial empowerment is an inalienÂable right for all citizens of DC. Serving the residents of Southeast DC goes back to the mission of our founder, because he was most concerned with addressing the needs of an underserved community. We want to help us invest in ourselves.â€