PNC Bank is pouring investment into a Wilmington-based beer company that employs active gang members.
The recent infusion of $9.25 million from PNC Bank is helping complete the transformation of an abandoned textile factory on Greenfield Street into TRU Colors’ 56,000-square-foot headquarters and brewery, according to a news release Thursday.
"The financing, which includes a $6 million equity investment and a $3.25 million secured line of credit, augments
the growth of the startup, which launched its first commercial product in 2021 and aspires to distribute nationwide," the release stated.
Founded by tech entrepreneur George Taylor, TRU Colors aims to "lift communities and make them safer through reform, education and jobs."
The for-profit brewery is motivated by the premise that poverty and street violence "are the result of lack of economic opportunity and societal exclusion," according to the release.
In addition to livable wage jobs, the release stated, the company provides professional training and development opportunities, including financial education, to help employees build life skills.
“As a Main Street bank, PNC is committed to leveraging the power of our resources to help all move forward financially, and this investment underscores the extent to which we are delivering on this commitment,” said Jim Hansen, PNC regional president for Eastern Carolinas, in the release. “This financing contributes to the revitalization and stabilization of a low- and moderate-income neighborhood, while enriching Wilmington’s dynamic startup community.”
Located at 715 Greenfield St. in Wilmington, the TRU Colors facility houses the company’s brewery, which has the capacity to produce more than 1 million cases of beer annually, as well as its corporate offices, a recording studio, wellness center, gym and classroom space.
“As TRU Colors continues on a trajectory of accelerated growth, we’re grateful for PNC Bank’s support, which will fuel the expansion of our operations and ultimately increase our social impact,” said George Taylor, CEO of TRU Colors, in the release. “This investment holds great meaning for the TRU Colors family and emboldens our resolve to continue brewing for progress.”
PNC’s financing was facilitated by its Community Development Banking group, which works to improve the quality of life in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods through affordable housing, community development lending, economic development, financial education and customized financial solutions, according to the release.
The financing is part of PNC’s $88 billion Community Benefits Plan, which will provide loans, investments and other financial support to bolster economic opportunity over a four-year period that began in January.