J.P.Morgan Injects Cash Into Black-Owned Businesses

By Denise Garcia

  • J.P.Morgan is putting $6.5M towards minority entrepreneurs in Chicago
  • 18% of Chicago businesses are owned by people of color

One of the largest  banks in the country is investing in black entrepreneurs in the fourth biggest U.S. city. J.P.Morgan Chase (JPM +0.60%) has teamed up with Fifth Third Bank to inject $6.5 million into minority-owned businesses on the West and South Side of Chicago.

Why This Matters: The New York-based financial institution claims that while women and minority-owned businesses are the fastest drivers to economic growth, only 18% of businesses in Chicago are owned by people of color. That includes 6% Hispanics and 2% African American, J.P.Morgan said in a statement.

The efforts are part of the Wall Street giant’s commitment to investing $40 million to create better economic opportunities on Chicago’s South and West sides. These two areas house the majority of the cities black population.

The firm is aiming to boost these numbers and create more jobs in underserved communities. They are allocating $5.5 million to Accion Chicago, a non-profit  community lender and LISC, an organization versed in revitalizing communities. In addition, $1 million will go to Ascend 2020, a program where the University of Chicago and Northwestern University can mentor an additional 70 businesses.  

Situational Awareness: This isn’t J.P.Morgan’s and Fifth Third Bank’s first round at the rodeo. The Entrepreneurs of Color Fund first became available to Detroit residents in 2015. Two years into the venture, the fund tripled its size to $18 million. Other banks such as Morgan Stanley (MS +0.30%) and Goldman Sachs (GS +0.55%) have also dipped its toes in reaching underrepresented business owners. Morgan Stanley just selected 10 women and minority-led start-up for its Multicultural Innovation Lab this past spring and it’s awarding each business $200,000.

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