Small businesses play a critical role in creating inclusive economic growth, but too few women, diverse, and veteran entrepreneurs are getting the tools and resources they need to grow. With small businesses growing fastest among people of color, particularly Latinas and African American women, it is essential to help them get started and growing. When small businesses succeed, communities and neighborhoods succeed.
Recognizing the potential of small businesses, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has decided to double the size of its global Small Business Forward program, by committing $75 million over the next three years to support women, minority and veteran-owned small businesses. The program will include a series of approaches to help build their long term success, creating local, inclusive economic growth.
JPMorgan Chase’s commitment includes a $1.9 million grant to the Association for Enterprise Opportunity to support its programs to connect small business owners with alternative funding sources when they are unable to qualify for traditional loans. According to Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, by helping regional economies on their core assets to develop thriving enterprises, the program will help to create jobs and build a more prosperous society.
The company has extended its collaboration with nonprofit lender LiftFund through a $4.6 million grant for its new LiftUP Initiative, which is designed to increase economic opportunity for diverse small businesses. The loan fund will offer faster, cheaper loans to small business owners through a new web-based program, which will reduce loan approval time from an average of five weeks to just four days.
JPMorgan Chase provided a total of $8 million in seed and capital grants to help launch the National African American Small Business Loan Fund with VEDC along with $3.5 million for the creation of the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund with Detroit Development Fund, which both provide flexible capital and dedicated technical assistance to diverse entrepreneurs. In their first six months the two funds have provided more than $3.7 million in loans to 35 business owners, helping to preserve or create 213 jobs.
The company is working to extend entrepreneurial support systems to underserved entrepreneurs and neighborhoods. With a $500,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase, the University of Washington Foster School of Business’ Ascend 2020 will promote local support ecosystems for neighborhood-based businesses inner-city and minority-owned businesses by linking business schools, business service-providing organizations and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).
Source and Image: JPMorgan Chase