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Heartspring Supports East Texas Microfinance Activities

Heartspring Methodist Foundation has loaned $200,000 to ACCION Texas, a microfinance nonprofit organization that makes loans of $500 to $100,000 to small and start-up businesses in Texas and Louisiana. The Heartspring dollars are targeted to supporting entrepreneurs in the region served by the foundation, which extends from Houston north through East Texas.

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NEWS RELEASE

Heartspring Methodist Foundation loan to support ACCION’s microfinance activities in East Texas

HOUSTON, Jan. 21, 2010 – Heartspring Methodist Foundation has loaned $200,000 to ACCION Texas, a microfinance nonprofit organization that makes loans of $500 to $100,000 to small and start-up businesses in Texas and Louisiana. The Heartspring dollars are targeted to supporting entrepreneurs in the region served by the foundation, which extends from Houston north through East Texas.

“We are pleased to be able to support and grow ACCION Texas’ microfinance activity in the communities we serve. As a non-profit financial foundation supporting the United Methodist Texas Conference, we are committed to making socially responsible investments that advance our ministry,” said Rev. C.J. Taylor, Heartspring president. “Our loan to ACCION will increase the flow of dollars to businesses that help build communities, offer jobs and grow local economic opportunities.”

“The Heartspring loan will allow us to be more proactive in this region of the state,” said Janie Barrera, ACCION Texas president and chief executive officer. “We loan money to small business people who often can’t qualify for credit from any other source, giving them access to the capital they need to grow. Their success, in turn, becomes success for their communities, as they offer jobs, provide services and pay taxes. And in today’s difficult economy which has further limited access to loans for many, our services are even more vital.”

ACCION Texas’ mission is to provide credit to small businesses that do not have access to loans from commercial sources. Through its loans and services, the organization helps micro entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create additional employment and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Since its founding in 1994, the San Antonio-based organization has made almost $90 million in loans to small and start-up business, many of them women or minority owned. On average, its loans produce a 60 percent social return on investment – every dollar loaned creates an average of 60 cents annually in new economic activity. They also grow employment. ACCION borrowers created more than 1,800 new jobs and sustained more than 4,000 between June 1994 and 2008. For more information, visit www.acciontexas.org .

Heartspring Methodist Foundation (formerly United Methodist Foundation of the Texas Annual Conference), partners with Methodist churches and members on financial needs, offering expertise and a range of flexible, socially responsible investments that deliver strong returns. It works in the Texas Conference to achieve goals, from building and expanding churches and funding ministries to leaving charitable legacies and advancing causes that make a lasting difference. More information is available at www.heartspringmethodist.org.

Media Contacts:
Heartspring: Megan Mastal, 713-884-5432, mmastal@insightspr.com
Acción: Aurora Perkins, 210-507-4293, aperkins@acciontexas.org

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