Springfield advocacy group, bank partner on financial literacy program

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Courtesy of the Associated Press

WelcomeSpringfield.org and Security National Bank have partnered to create a financial literacy program for foreign-born Springfield residents.

WelcomeSpringfield.org Executive Director Carl Ruby said the number of foreign-born residents in the city is growing, and the new program will help those with limited English-speaking abilities to become more comfortable with starting a checking account, taking out a business loan or starting a business.

“We’re basically just establishing trust,” Ruby said.

WelcomeSpringfield.org was founded earlier this year by Ruby as a non-profit focused on advocacy for new foreign-born residents, with particular focus on economic development. Security National Bank is the advocacy group’s primary financial partner.

Ruby said both organizations bring something to the table for the project.

“We have the connections within the community, they have the financial expertise,” Ruby said.

Security National Bank Marketing Specialist Laurie Nott said the bank is constantly trying to improve financial awareness in the Springfield area.

“Encouraging financial literacy throughout our community is part of our outreach,” Nott said in an email. “Our bankers regularly promote financial education inside our branch offices as well as through visits to local schools and organizations.”

Nott also hopes the program would will help make Clark County an attractive option for those looking to start a business.

“We hope that new business owners will continue to be attracted to our community as a viable location for their business,” Nott said. “We also feel that all business owners will benefit from the project.”

Ruby said he hopes to eventually implement the program in more Springfield businesses, though the program will likely start in local churches that work with WelcomeSpringfield.org. He said he hopes to start some classes by October.

“We have to develop a curriculum first,” Ruby said.

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