LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Nine community banks came together to help Louisville Urban League fund the final capital for the new Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center in west Louisville. Led by Republic Bank, the unique bank loan partnership brought competitor financial institutions together for a common cause, making a powerful statement on their commitment to the Louisville community.
Thanks to a collaboration between Republic Bank, Central Bank, Commonwealth Bank, L&N Federal Credit Union, Liberty Bank, Limestone Bank, Stock Yards Bank, WesBanco Bank and Wilson & Muir Bank, the Louisville Urban League was able to fill a $10 million gap in funding for the recently opened West Louisville facility.
“While all of us are competitors, we are partners in making this game-changing project happen for the West End,” said Republic Bank Chairman & CEO Steve Trager. “I am thankful and inspired by the leaders at these nine banks who stepped up for the greater good of our community.”
“Accomplishing big goals requires our business community understanding the tremendous needs and committing to being a part of the solution,” said Louisville Urban League President and CEO Sadiqa Reynolds. “Setting aside competition and focusing on collaboration in order to advance the greater good as these banks have done, is a good start and I hope we see much more of it from them and others in the business community as we move toward a more equitable future.”
The Louisville Urban League opened the state-of-the-art track and field facility Feb. 15 on a 24-acre campus at the corner of 30th and West Muhammad Ali Boulevard. The $53 million complex, which sits on a previously contaminated and abandoned lot, is a prime example of the investment needed to create opportunity and uplift historically underserved communities across the country.
The Louisville Urban League raised $43 million by compiling philanthropic gifts, corporate sponsorships and tax credits in just 22 months but there was still a $10 million gap in funding. When alerted to the Urban League’s need for capital, Republic Bank worked with the group of banks to participate and make this loan a reality.
This significant commitment to the West End reflects an overall strategy of investing and lending in underserved areas, Trager said.
“We take seriously our commitment to community, which is why we heeded the call from the Louisville Urban League and created a partnership with other leading community banks,” said Trager. “Lending a hand in our West End and ensuring the success of this remarkable facility will benefit our entire city for years to come.”
This latest community loan builds upon other significant lending and investment initiatives by Louisville’s banking community to support underserved communities. For Republic, recent examples include the $3 million Community Loan Fund, launched in 2020 to support small businesses and promote business development and job creation in low-to-moderate income communities and the $28 million Republic Bank Foundation YMCA in West Louisville.