HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Harris County Treasurer Dylan Osborne, along with Commissioners Adrian Garcia and Rodney Ellis, and Unity National Bank President and CEO Michael Pearson announced Thursday afternoon a historic partnership with the minority-owned bank.
This is the first time any Texas county has partnered with a minority-owned bank for services.
“Harris County has ignored the needs of minority-owned and small businesses for too long. I am happy to follow the lead of this Commissioners Court and include a minority-owned bank in our banking needs,” Treasurer Osborne remarked. “We are fortunate to have a great partner in Unity National Bank located right here in Harris County. The beauty of this is we did not have to reinvent the wheel. We just had to make it a point to reach out to minority-owned banks and offer them a seat at the table.”
This partnership, undoubtedly, sends a message to underserved communities who may have avoided keeping their money in a bank account and could create pivotal opportunities for their families.
“Minority-owned banks play a critical role in opening doors of economic opportunity and stability for the communities they serve. Some in minority communities may not feel comfortable, safe, or maybe even ‘worthy’ of going into a big-name bank,” Commissioner Garcia said. “However, if they see an institution in their community that is led by someone in their community, and that their local government legitimizes them with its business, that can make all the difference in their financial well-being for generations.”
“Harris County’s investment with Unity National Bank will further assist this financial institution’s mission of providing banking needs for low- and moderate-income communities in Third Ward and surrounding areas,” Commissioner Ellis said. “This historic investment also will help contribute to Unity’s fulfillment of its vision of creating opportunities and improvements in the African American and underserved communities that are primarily served by the bank.”
Unity National Bank President and CEO Michael Pearson believes this first-of-its-kind partnership between a minority-owned banking institution and Texas’ biggest county is a game-changer.
“We are delighted to be a part of this historic moment. We applaud Harris County for its leadership. The partnership between Unity National Bank and Harris County will extend this bank’s primary role and community-based mission to support economic development by providing financial products and services, including financial education and literacy to meet the needs of the communities we are honored and trusted to serve,” Pearson said. “We provide service to ALL members of marginalized communities, particularly those who have been historically and even now underserved, unbanked and those who face barriers to accessing capital. As we work and partner Together…we are UNITY Strong!”