Carver Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: CARV), the holding company for Carver Federal Savings Bank, and M&T Bank joined forces to establish the Harlem Multicultural Small Business Lab. This initiative, based in Harlem, New York, aims to support small businesses in the area by providing them with valuable resources and guidance to foster growth in a competitive market. The collaboration between the two banks demonstrates a strong commitment to the economic development of Black-owned businesses.
Founded in 1948 to serve African-American communities with limited access to mainstream financial services, Carver Federal Savings Bank is a federally chartered stock savings bank headquartered in Harlem, NY. The U.S. Treasury Department has designated Carver as a Community Development Financial Institution (“CDFI”) due to its community-focused banking services and dedication to its local community’s economic viability and revitalization. Carver is one of the largest African- and Caribbean-American-managed banks in the United States. Recently, the bank expanded its online presence to offer consumer checking and savings accounts across nine states, from Massachusetts to Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
The Harlem Multicultural Small Business Lab, situated at Carver Federal Savings Bank’s headquarters, is dedicated to assisting multicultural small business owners in overcoming challenges related to starting and expanding their businesses. The lab provides entrepreneurs with a physical workspace to collaborate and access various resources, such as workshops, networking events, professional consultants, and mentors.
Michael T. Pugh, President and CEO of Carver Federal Savings Bank, stated, “Carver Federal Savings Bank is proud to join M&T Bank in a Harlem Multicultural Small Business Lab initiative. The program presents an awesome opportunity for small business entrepreneurs to gain additional tools and capital for growth and sustainability.” He also expressed gratitude to the Harlem Commonwealth Council, Inc., for hosting and supporting this vital program.
The program is set to culminate in early May with a pitch competition among finalists. The first-place winner will receive a $16,000 prize, the second-place winner will receive $12,000, and the third-place winner will receive $7,000, all funded by M&T Bank.