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Support Community Development Financial Institutions for Equitable Recovery | Healthiest Communities

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For America’s most vulnerable populations, substandard housing, environmental pollution, segregation, lack of opportunity and limited access to quality health care are everyday challenges. This pandemic is amplifying these challenges and threatening to further decimate their quality of life. As we prepare for the long recovery ahead, it is time to double down on investing in underserved communities to make sure we are creating equitable opportunities for all.

While federal stimulus funding is providing some immediate relief to a few, it is not going to address the inequities that have so clearly marked COVID-19’s tragic impact on people of color and low-income communities. In many states and communities, black Americans are getting sick and dying at rates far higher than their share of the population.

Low-wage and hourly workers are most likely to have suffered job losses as entire sectors have shut down. While people of all stripes have lost their jobs in recent weeks, data from April shows that the unemployment rates for blacks and Latinos were notably higher than for whites.

Photos: Feeding America

NEW YORK, April 24, 2020:  People pick up food at a food bank distribution site in the Brooklyn borough of New York, the United States, on April 24, 2020. More than 50,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States while debates are heightening over reopening the country's economy severely battered by the virus. A total of 870,468 cases have been reported in the United States with the death toll reaching 50,031 as of 11 a.m. Friday ,1500 GMT, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering ,CSSE, at Johns Hopkins University. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/ via Getty Images)

It is essential that we rethink how we invest in our nation’s community development finance system that builds and stabilizes critical assets communities need to thrive: health care centers, grocery stores, food banks, childcare providers and affordable housing.

For decades, community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, have pioneered new ways to spark and sustain growth in local economies. As social enterprises that combine business with purpose, CDFIs are dedicated financial partners for small businesses, health care centers and schools that contribute to a robust job market in struggling American communities. Now, they are the lifelines that will get these local economies up and running again.

Recently, the Small Business Administration opened a second round of its Paycheck Protection Program after Congress replenished the program with more than $300 billion. That amount included $30 billion for small banks and community lenders, including CDFIs. Despite limitations ranging from capacity to liquidity that have prevented many CDFIs from being able to offer PPP resources to their communities, a few (including my CDFI, Reinvestment Fund) worked with small businesses and nonprofits to submit loan applications in the second round.

What we learned from our experience is very telling of the wider, systemic inequity that manifested in favoring large banks and public companies in the first round of funding. For many smaller businesses, a fair chance at accessing the relief funds was marred by a lack of capacity and know-how. For some, language was also a barrier.

In one week alone, Reinvestment Fund helped 76 organizations access PPP funds. We intentionally limited our support to those that needed $200,000 or less to ensure a focus on smaller organizations – what the SBA was actually put in place to do. Building on the long legacy of community development finance, over 60% of organizations we assisted were businesses owned by women and/or people of color, and 1 in 4 were owned by a low-income individual. We provided millions in PPP loans to community development corporations and nonprofits to ensure they could continue to serve those who need them most, as well as childcare providers and small arts organizations that have been devastated by business closure. The average loan size was $65,000, and most businesses had about eight employees.

In this spirit, I urge Congress and investors across the country to step up their support of the CDFIs doing this critical work at this crucial time. We must ensure access to flexible and low-cost capital so that CDFIs have the tools needed to continue to build economic resilience in the face of recession.

Congress can and must increase funding to the Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund now. This agency is the most vital source of capital for CDFIs, providing equity that allows us to lend more to stabilize economies in this critical time.

The Community Reinvestment Act, a law that incentivizes banks to invest in the communities where their customers live and work, also must be strengthened to live up to its original intent. The very communities that are hardest hit by the pandemic are the ones that could stand to lose billions in critical funds based on current efforts to modernize the CRA. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation must join the Federal Reserve and use the lessons we are learning to reimagine a CRA that does not widen the breach our communities are facing.

We cannot let privilege, wealth or skin color continue to determine a person’s health and well-being. Institutional investors from banks to philanthropies must dig deeper to support solutions that address inequities and strengthen our communities.

We must be bold in our actions and work together toward racial equity, economic recovery and healing. We must deliver on the promise of this great nation – of an America that works for all.

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Turkey Poised to Revise Bank Rule Aimed at Fueling Credit Growth

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(Bloomberg) — Turkey’s banking regulator agreed to revise a rule aimed at compelling lenders to boost credit at a meeting with the industry’s top executives.

A revision to the asset-ratio rule by the regulator would be in line with requests from the banks, the people said, who asked to speak on condition of anonymity. The central bank was present at the meeting held on Thursday night.

The asset-ratio rule was introduced earlier this year to push financial institutions to step up lending, purchase government bonds and engage in swap transactions with the central bank. The regulation allowed the government to fine banks who can’t maintain an asset ratio of at least 100%.

The revision could mark an end to Turkish authorities’ push for loan growth, the people said. The regulator, known as BDDK, declined to comment.

Turkey Announces New Regulation To Boost Lending, Bond Purchase

The decision comes after the lira tumbled to a record low against the dollar on Thursday even though the central bank had spent billions over the past year propping it up. A series of jumbo-sized interest rate cuts and a campaign to get credit flowing to the economy to support growth has pushed the nation’s current account into a deficit, while risking a fresh bout of inflation.

Turkey’s Perilous Game With Financial Markets Reaches Crossroads

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak have repeatedly slammed private banks for failing to support companies even before the coronavirus outbreak paralyzed economic activity and curtailed the movement of people.

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China Tells Banks, Wealth Fund to Cut Pay as Economy Slumps

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(Bloomberg) — Chinese authorities are doubling down on pressure to get the nation’s biggest state-owned financial groups to reduce salaries in a bid to boost returns as the virus-hit economy faces its slowest expansion in four decades.

Plans for limiting pay have gone out to entities including China’s massive sovereign wealth fund, its biggest bank and investment conglomerate, according to people familiar with the move who asked not to be named revealing private deliberations. The reductions will vary among firms based on a formula, but could reach an average of 30% at some companies, the people said.

Financial firms were first notified of the need to reduce pay last year and given details on how to make those cuts in early 2020, according to the people. Implemented, however, hasn’t been uniform with some institution acting more quickly than others, the people said. More recently, the ministry has begun pushing laggards to act, they said.

The decision could mean more money in government coffers for stimulus and marks another step in forcing its $41 trillion banking system to support the economic recovery even as the pandemic eases. Lenders including Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. have earlier been asked to cap profit growth to single digits, forgoing 1.5 trillion yuan ($200 billion) in earnings this year by offering cheap loans and cutting fees. They have also been told to roll over and defer payments on trillions of yuan in troubled loans to small- and medium-sized businesses.

Among institutions being instructed to adjust salaries are China Investment Corp., the $940 billion sovereign wealth fund, China Development Bank, ICBC, China’s biggest bank, as well as Citic Group, which controls the biggest brokerage, Citic Securities Co., the people said.

The Finance Ministry has devised a formula tied to a number of performance indicators to cut the total amount entities pay to employees, the people said. Those that don’t meet government return expectations would need make deeper cuts to salaries. It would affect employees at all levels to varying degrees, with the firms in charge of devising the cuts to achieve an overall average reduction, they said.

The firms though are being encouraged to continue hiring while keeping the compensation pool unchanged, one of the people said.

The ministry, CIC, Citic Group, and CDB didn’t immediately reply to requests for a comment. ICBC declined to comment.

Unlike some banks in other parts of the world, big Chinese lenders so far have stuck to their dividends plans for the year, with the government keen on maintaining that cash flow amid a tight budget. But speculation has grown that the banks could eventually be forced to lower payouts as their bottom line comes under pressure.

The demands to lower pay could accelerate an exodus of top-level talent in China’s financial industry, where professionals have long groused over low compensation levels compared with global peers. It comes at an opportune time for global giants such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., who are seeking to hoover up talent as they push into China after the country opened up its financial markets fully to foreign competition this year.

CIC, the world’s second-biggest sovereign wealth fund, is already being hampered by a brain drain, with three of its top executives resigning since April. Managing directors and department heads at CIC typically earn 1 million yuan to 2 million yuan a year depending on performance. While that tops the pay of some government officials, it’s a drop in the bucket versus compensation on Wall Street.

Foreign banks have made a number of recent key profile hires. UBS Group AG snapped up Fan Yang from China Merchants Securities International as chairman of global banking for Asia in April, while Credit Suisse Group AG recently poached rainmaker Wang Jing from China Merchants Bank Co. to develop its wealth management business.

The plan could also spell another blow to bankers working at state-controlled banks in Hong Kong, who were recently told they would need to start paying mainland taxes which can be as high as 45%, compared with the city’s 15% rate.

(Adds details on dividends in ninth paragraph.)

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Braveheart Resources Inc. Closes $101,500 First Tranche from Alumina Financing Facility

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Calgary, Alberta–(Newsfile Corp. – August 6, 2020) –  Braveheart Resources Inc. (TSXV: BHT) (OTCQB: RIINF) (“Braveheart” or the “Company“) is pleased to announce that it has closed a first tranche of $101,500 from a financing facility with Alumina Partners (Ontario) Ltd. (“Alumina”) , an affiliate of New York based private equity firm Alumina Partners LLC.

As previously announced on July 15, 2020, the Company has executed an investment agreement with Alumina which provides the Company with an at-will financing facility from which the Company can draw down up to $8.0 million, at its sole discretion, in equity private placement tranches of up to $250,000. Each tranche is composed of units with each unit consisting of one common share and one common share purchase warrant, at discounts between 15 and 25 percent of the closing price of the Company’s shares on the day prior to Braveheart’s drawdown notice to Alumina. The exercise price of the warrants will be at a 25 per cent premium over market at the time of the issuance and the warrants will have a term of 60 months. Each draw down from the facility will be subject to TSX Venture Exchange approval. All securities will be subject to a statutory hold period that expires four months and one day from issuance.

Accordingly, the Company issued 1,000,000 units at $0.1015 per unit. Each warrant is exercisable into a common share at a price of $0.1688 per share for a period of 60 months from the offering. In addition, a further $101,500 in proceeds were raised from certain arm’s length subscribers. No commissions were paid in connection with the offering. The proceeds from the financing will allow the Company to continue with engineering and permitting activities at its 100% owned Bull River Mine project as well as for general working capital.

The Company plans to advance the Bull River Mine project in a phased approach wherein a surface stockpile of mineralized material will provide the initial feedstock to the mill facility. In order to process the surface stockpile the Company needs to complete capital upgrades on surface including the commissioning of a new substation, installation of a flotation circuit, installation of a filtration circuit and civil works associated with the development of a dry stack tailings storage facility (“TSF”). The Company’s internal estimate for capital upgrades is approximately $5,000,000. The Company’s decision to continue with upgrades to the surface infrastructure and process mineralized material on surface is not based on a comprehensive feasibility study of mineral reserves that would otherwise demonstrate economic viability. There is risk and uncertainty regarding the economic viability of the surface stockpile in terms of tonnage, grade, metal recovery and the actual cost to complete the surface upgrades.

Ian Berzins, President and CEO stated “I am extremely pleased that, with the support of Alumina, we were able to begin drawing down on this financing facility. The facility provides the Company with sufficient funds to complete surface upgrades and continue working with regulatory authorities on re-permitting of the Bull River Mine with a planned ultimate restart of mining and milling operations at the mine in the foreseeable future. By drawing down on an as-required basis we avoid large dilutionary raises as we move the project forward. “

About Braveheart Resources Inc.

Braveheart is a Canadian based junior mining company focused on building shareholder value through exploration and development in the favourable and proven mining jurisdictions of the East and West Kootenays of British Columbia. Braveheart’s main asset is the Bull River Mine project which has a current mineral resource containing copper, gold and silver. The property is fully developed with 21,000 metres of underground developments in terms of ramps, raises and drifting on mineralized structures on seven levels. The surface infrastructure includes a 750 tonne per day conventional mill with adjoining crushing facilities as well as offices and mine maintenance facilities. The property is connected to grid power and there is year-round access to the site by paved and all-weather roads.

Contact Information
Braveheart Resources Inc.
Ian Berzins
President & Chief Executive Officer
403-512-8202
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.braveheartresources.com

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information

This news release includes certain information that may constitute “forward-looking information” under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements about strategic plans, future work programs and objectives and expected results from such work programs. Forward-looking information necessarily involve known and unknown risks, including, without limitation, risks associated with general economic conditions; inability to access sufficient capital from internal and external sources, and/or inability to access sufficient capital on favourable terms; and other risks.

Forward-looking information is necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information and the risks identified in the Company’s continuous disclosure record. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. All forward-looking information contained in this news release is given as of the date hereof and is based upon the opinions and estimates of management and information available to management as at the date hereof. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this new release.

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