First Independence Bank in Detroit Offers Minority Business Funding Program

First Independence Bank in Detroit, the seventh largest Black-owned commercial bank in the United States, is working to assist some of the fastest-growing small business operators in Detroit by providing access to the CEO Connection Minority Business Funding Program.
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Kenneth Kelly (left) tours a local business. // Courtesy of Hobson Media Group
Kenneth Kelly (left) tours a local business. // Courtesy of Hobson Media Group

First Independence Bank in Detroit, the seventh largest Black-owned commercial bank in the United States, is working to assist some of the fastest-growing small business operators in Detroit by providing access to the CEO Connection Minority Business Funding Program.

CEO Connection is the only membership organization in the world reserved exclusively for CEOs of mid-market companies with between $100 million and $3 billion in annual revenue.

To offer the program, Kenneth Kelly, chairman and CEO of First Independence Bank, worked with Kenneth Beck, CEO of CEO Connection, to waive the $100 million membership size requirement for minority-owned companies that are banking with First Independence Bank.

This provides access to a successful network of leaders who will support these select business owners as they grow and create community wealth.

In addition, members of CEO Connection are providing support to the program by depositing millions of dollars in FIB to create more capital available for small minority-owned businesses.

The unique program enhances the entire small business ecosystem by providing support and mentorship for minority businesses to grow from small to middle market businesses.

“Our institution was designed to see our customers, whether individuals or corporations, grow their wealth and revenues. Our lending institution is a vehicle, serving our customers by creating entry into an ecosystem that can benefit them and their stakeholders,” Kelly says. “We’re especially happy to provide access to CEO Connection for LM Manufacturing, headquartered in Detroit.”

First Independence Bank has a track record of helping minority businesses grow and scale up. Kelly says this is key to their mission of helping Black business owners be in the position to acquire, start, grow, and sustain strong businesses.

Kelly recently toured LM Manufacturing’s facility to see firsthand the fast-growing, mid-sized company, as President and CEO Sylvester Hester joins the CEO Connection.

The auto supplier, founded in 2019, is a joint venture between Magna International and LAN Manufacturing. The company provides manufacturing, assembly, sequencing, supply chain, and logistics management of complete seat assemblies for the automotive and other mobility industries.

“I am excited to be part of the CEO Connection program and to benefit from a network that strengthens relationships between the leaders of mid-sized corporations,” Hester says. “To have the CEO of our company’s home-town financial institution visit and tour our facility and witness the workforce that will benefit from these connections is truly inspiring.”

To learn more about the CEO Connection program, visit ceoconnection.com.

First Independence Bank offers a variety of high-quality banking services from managing accounts to personal loans, mortgages, consumer education, and investments. First Independence Bank has three locations and offers banking solutions online and digitally through its mobile app. For more information, visit firstindependence.com.