MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and other community leaders are celebrating a first in the state – the charter application for a black-owned credit union has been approved.

The funding for Village Financial Cooperative totals around $500,000. It passed as part of Mayor Frey’s 2019 budget.

RELATED: Black-Owned Credit Union Will Soon Become Reality

Mayor Frey says he believes VFC will help bridge the financial gap between communities.

“Here in Minnesota, 33 percent of our black working population is unbanked or underbanked. That means that when a personal crisis or an emergency hits, black people are especially vulnerable to predatory lending practices,” Frey said. “Instead of simply treating the symptoms, we need to begin looking at the cause. White people have been the decision makers, the gatekeepers and ultimately, that’s just not good enough, regardless of intention.”

Village Financial Cooperative will be based in north Minneapolis. It will offer low-interest loans and affordable check cashing.