MILWAUKEE - Leaders in banking, business technology, and national civil rights organizations are coming together to reduce financial barriers for people across the country. It's called Project REACh.
REACh stands for Roundtable Economic Access and Change. A new national project combining forces of banks, business technology, and civil rights with the mission to help millions of Americans who face financial barriers.
"We’ve seen a needle that has leaned to one side of the scale for so long, we’re just trying to now push it the other way," said Andrew Moss, Director of Minority Outreach, Office of the Comptroller of Currency.
Andrew Moss is the Director for Minority Outreach at the Office of the Comptroller of Currency – the government agency facilitating the project.
"We’re working with financial institutions to develop new strategies to help them create more vehicles to allow more people to pursue their entrepreneurial endeavors," said Moss.
Creating more small and minority-owned businesses is one goal of the project. The others include creating alternative credit resources for the 50 million Americans considered "credit invisible." Also working with banks to create more affordable housing options for low-income families.
"They all have this interconnectivity because without people being able to be seen as creditworthy then they’re not able to tie into the other types of services that are offered by banks," said Moss.
Project REACh launched in July 2020. The national project is working to create regional project reach teams to help disadvantaged communities on a more personal level.
"When you talk about a city like Milwaukee, with that type of diverse population, it’s the perfect type of approach to addressing some of the economic disparities that may exist within that community," said Moss.
As we enter a post-pandemic economy, the group hopes to give every American an opportunity to be successful.
"We think this movement is something that is going to be game-changing, something that’s definitely going to show how a private and public partnership can work to the benefit of all Americans," said Moss.
So far, Project REACh has regional teams in Los Angeles and D.C. with more cities joining the effort this year.