JPMorgan Kicks In Another $15 Million to Advance Economic Growth in Detroit - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

JPMorgan Chase has committed $15 million in Detroit to help more black residents benefit from the continued economic recovery in the Motor City. The new investment is geared to expand economic opportunity across some Detroit neighborhoods.

The nation’s largest bank will combine a $10 million, long-term low-cost loan and $5 million in philanthropy to enable the Strategic Neighborhood Fund to finance critical neighborhood projects, lacking access to conventional financing. The bank claims funding will help attract extra capital, and eventually provide local residents further access to affordable housing, grocery stores, schools, and commercial space.

The bank’s investment is part of its $150 million five-year commitment in Detroit’s economic recovery, which includes helping women, minority, and veteran entrepreneurs.

A city project backed by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, the Strategic Neighborhood Fund, recently was expanded to 10 neighborhoods from three. The new commitment will revitalize commercial areas in the 10 neighborhoods, allowing residents to gain new jobs, start businesses, and have access to business services.

JPMorgan Chase invested $5 million into the Strategic Neighborhood Fund in 2016. Commenting on the latest commitment, Duggan stated in a news release, “With the help of partners like JPMorgan Chase, we are taking the successful strategies that worked in our Downtown and Midtown areas, and scaling it to bring physical improvements and development to neighborhoods across our city.”

Duggan continued: “We’ve got a lot more work to do, and together we’ll expand the good work being done to ensure more Detroiters are participating in the comeback.”

Peter Scher, head of corporate responsibility at JPMorgan Chase, added, “There are so many clear signs of recovery across Detroit. The leadership of the Mayor and the strategic focus of so many partners has truly been the key to this progress. “We want this growth to benefit all Detroiters, especially those who have lived here their whole lives. That’s why we continue to invest our long-term capital in more neighborhoods.”

In 2014, the bank says it helped launch two community development loan funds in the city; the Detroit Neighborhoods Fund and Chase Invest Detroit Fund. Both were set up through Capital Impact Partners and Invest Detroit, two community development financial institutions.

These funds, including a $40 million in low-cost debt from JPMorgan Chase, helped finance the construction of mixed-use real estate development, affordable multifamily housing, and high quality residential, commercial, and retail developments as well as provided flexible capital for small and medium-sized businesses in Detroit.

All told, the funds have leveraged over $230 million in additional funding from outside sources to support residential and commercial development.

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