Troy Smith Founds Maryland’s First History-Making Firm

Troy Smith Founds Maryland’s First Pre-Approved Black-Owned 5-County Federal Credit Union

Historic Pre-Approval from the National Credit Union Association

On January 28, 2024, the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) issued a historic pre-approval letter to the proposed C3 Federal Credit Union, agreeing to consider five Maryland counties as a single community.

This marks the first time in Maryland history that the NCUA has preliminarily approved a credit union charter spanning Charles, Prince George’s, Calvert, St. Mary’s and Anne Arundel counties, with a potential membership of under 2 million residents.

Federal credit unions differ from banks in that they are equally owned by members and have geographical restrictions. Community-chartered credit unions can cover a region with up to 2.5 million residents.

“The Federal Credit Union system puts power in the hands of depositors,” said Troy Smith, CEO of G1 Investment LLC and founder of the proposed C3 Federal Credit Union. “While large banks funnel loans to preferred account holders, African American and Hispanic individuals and businesses are left short of funds.”

Mission to Financially Strengthen Maryland Communities

C3 Federal Credit Union’s mission is to provide financial literacy, business training, educational investment seminars and ensure access to credit, savings, and responsible services. The credit union will educate on saving, investing and managing capital responsibly.

C3 will also support local businesses through services, education, and lending to help them stay informed, technologically updated, and able to compete.

The next steps are to study the membership field and raise the necessary capital to make this vision a reality. C3 needs at least 384 membership surveys from Charles, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, Calvert, and St. Mary’s counties.

Crowdfunding Effort Seeks $10 Million

Troy Smith recently announced the first national crowdfunding effort to fund a federal credit union charter in Charles County. Although Charles County is considered the wealthiest African American county in the U.S., a 2021 disparity study found 92.87% of the county’s procurement spending went to white-owned businesses, while just 2.16% went to African American businesses.

“It’s time the wealthiest African American community shows the power of pooling economic resources,” Smith said. “If we can change the economic landscape here, we can do it across the country.”

The crowdfunding campaign seeks to raise $10 million through $100 donations from 100,000 people. Once established, Charles County’s credit union will mentor other African-American credit unions nationwide.

“We must move to Economic Rights and decent living for our communities,” Smith stated.

Troy Smith Founds Maryland’s First History-Making Firm
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