WRISE Company Spotlight: US Bank

May 16, 2022 • Stories About WRISE



Company Spotlight


Being intentional is part of U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation‘s commitment to more equitable community development and increasing capital to historically underserved communities. Helping Black business owners succeed is one way to address racial wealth disparities. And successful Black business owners then help strengthen and lift their communities, which multiplies the impact.

It’s why U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), the community investment and tax credit division of U.S. Bank, is intentional about the projects it invests in and the partners it works with, working to expand relationships and invest in projects with more Black developers. Being intentional is part of USBCDC’s commitment to more equitable community development and increasing capital to historically underserved communities. It also supports U.S. Bank Access Commitment – a long-term framework for building wealth and leveraging the group’s unique skillsets as a bank to help close the racial wealth gap, whether through career development, community partnerships, small business support or homeownership education.

US Bank is proud to be a tax credit investor in several Black-led projects across the country in the affordable, community development and renewable energy industries. Most recently, US Bank had the privilege of investing in a project led by James Staples, the only Black solar developer in Staples’ home state of Minnesota. As the owner of Renewable Energy Partners and the only Black solar developer in Minnesota, Staples is committed to doing all he can to ensure equity as more people transition to clean energy. He’s starting at home – through the solar projects he installs and development of a job training center in the community to help prepare local residents for jobs in this growing industry.

USBCDC invested nearly $400,000 in Tax Credit equity for two North Minneapolis projects Renewable Energy Partners has installed – rooftop solar gardens at North Community High School and Emerge Second Chance Recycling facility – both providing local, equitable access to clean energy in the low-income community. Power from the North High School project will be sold to the city of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Public Schools, while also reserving up to 80% of energy subscriptions for low-income households in the community. The solar garden at Emerge – a mattress recycling operation that employs individuals overcoming barriers to re-entering the workforce – is in partnership with Minneapolis Climate Action. In addition to supporting the facility’s own energy needs, it’s expected to provide bill credits for the clean, inexpensive power to about 100 local households.

“I’m born and raised in this community,” Staples said. “There are a lot of people out here working, but I just want to see better results. You can pursue opportunities solely for yourself. You can pursue opportunities explicitly for others. And you can marry the two.”

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