Bank has plans for Macon branch

George Andrews, president of Atlanta-based Capitol City Bancshares Inc., will make a presentation from 6-8 p.m. tonight at the Douglass Theatre to announce sale of stock in the bank and plans to open a branch here.

“We haven’t found a site, but we want to be in downtown Macon,” Andrews said. “Right now what we’re doing is we are gauging the interest by making our stock available.”

The bank is an “African-American owned and operated bank,” Andrews said. “We are a minority bank.”

The bank will go by a trade name, which hasn’t been decided yet, that will be different from its holding company name because of the similarity to Florida-based Capital City Bank, which currently operates in the Macon area.

“We entered into an agreement that we would make sure we don’t cause confusion,” Andrews said.

Because of the recession, “right now we are capitalizing the bank, making us as strong as we possibly can. Once the economy improves, we have cited Macon as a city for expansion,” he said. “I think realistically maybe sometime next year.”

A typical branch office has seven or eight employees “to start off with,” he said.

Capitol City Bancshares was chartered in June 1994 and opened in October of that year. It has eight locations, including in Atlanta, Albany, Savannah and Augusta.

“We’ve noticed that Macon has been a very progressive city over the years for African-Americans,” Andrews said of why the company was looking to put a branch here, adding that Macon is ideal because it is in the center of the state.

“I am a believer in the fact that if you want true economic empowerment, you must own the institutions that operate in your community,” he said.

This would not be the first minority-owned bank to open here.

Macon-based American Pride Bank opened in 2007 on Log Cabin Drive, and a majority of its shareholders and directors are Indian. It opened its first branch office on Russell Parkway in Warner Robins in March.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.