JPMorgan's plan to help Chicago's poorest neighborhoods

The bank is expanding its initiative to help minority business owners in the Windy City. CEO Jamie Dimon tells Christine Romans that just one loan can lift a community.

Posted: Jul 20, 2018 6:54 PM
Updated: Jul 20, 2018 6:54 PM

JPMorgan Chase has pumped millions of dollars into supporting entrepreneurs of color in Detroit, New York City and San Francisco.

Now it's taking its Entrepreneurs of Color Fund to Chicago.

The bank announced Thursday that it would invest $4 million to provide minority entrepreneurs in Chicago's South Side and West Side with the money and resources necessary to get their businesses off the ground.

"South and West Side neighborhoods hold tremendous economic opportunity, but we can do more to ensure that everyone has a chance to participate in Chicago's continued growth," CEO Jamie Dimon said in a statement.

JPMorgan will put $3 million into the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund in Chicago, while $1 million will fund mentoring programs for minority entrepreneurs at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. Ohio-based Fifth Third Bank also plans to contribute $2.5 million to the Chicago fund, JPMorgan said.

The banks grant the money to local partners, who then extend loans to small business owners. In Chicago, JPMorgan will partner with Accion Chicago and Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

In recent years, JPMorgan has focused a good chunk of its giving on economic development in underserved communities.

The bank created its first Entrepreneurs of Color Fund in Detroit along with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Detroit Development Fund in 2015, part of its $150 million investment in the city.

The Detroit fund has since tripled in size to $18 million, and has lent or approved more than $5 million to 52 small businesses.

Related: Five years ago Detroit was bankrupt. Now it's coming back

In February, JPMorgan announced that it would invest $3.1 million in a similar fund in San Francisco, and $2 million in a similar fund in New York City's South Bronx.

The bank pointed to Vernita Johnson, who started her own printing business out of a bedroom in Chicago's West Side in 1991, as an example of the type of entrepreneur who could benefit from the new fund.

In 2014, Johnson purchased a 6,000-square-foot space with the help of a $50,000 loan from Accion Chicago.

The move allowed her to start taking on bigger orders and grow her business after she was turned down for loans by traditional banks.

"When you're small, and you're still running in the red, and when your taxes say you're losing money, they tell you, 'Well, you come back next year when you're doing a little bit better,'" Johnson told CNN's Christine Romans in an interview. That causes businesses to stay small, she said.

Now, Johnson uses the space to teach local teenagers about graphic design and screenprinting. She has eight full-time employees and has surpassed $500,000 in annual revenue.

JPMorgan can afford to increase giving right now. Corporate tax cuts and a strong economy have left US banks flush with cash.

The bank reported a second quarter profit of $8.3 billion last week, up 18% from 2017. The previous quarter, JPMorgan hauled in the largest quarterly profit by a US bank ever.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 144544

Reported Deaths: 3729
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto956999
Hinds9541193
Harrison6825105
Jackson6068116
Rankin523796
Lee480294
Madison4602102
Forrest367185
Jones344687
Lauderdale3343142
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Washington3088106
Lamar281849
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Leflore200789
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Lincoln183964
Warren172157
Tate163349
Union160125
Pike160058
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Scott149929
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Simpson143553
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Holmes124461
George121623
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Wayne115722
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Attala106233
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Newton102829
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Tallahatchie94727
Clarke88253
Clay86726
Jasper81121
Walthall74328
Stone72314
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71213
Carroll70514
Lawrence69914
Noxubee69017
Smith68616
Yalobusha67926
Perry65225
Tunica59519
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54117
Humphreys52518
Amite50814
Benton48217
Quitman4786
Webster41614
Kemper40815
Wilkinson38422
Jefferson34011
Franklin3185
Sharkey30617
Choctaw3057
Issaquena1114
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 234080

Reported Deaths: 3459
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30620491
Mobile19306358
Tuscaloosa12501148
Madison12410146
Montgomery12040232
Shelby980576
Baldwin826984
Lee753964
Morgan618247
Calhoun5997113
Etowah590564
Marshall581953
Houston507038
DeKalb463535
Cullman412636
Limestone404544
St. Clair398455
Elmore393961
Lauderdale382953
Walker349096
Talladega335942
Colbert296341
Jackson291924
Blount276336
Autauga263439
Franklin244833
Coffee233415
Dale226654
Dallas220231
Russell21803
Chilton216937
Covington212533
Escambia194431
Tallapoosa169290
Chambers168048
Pike155514
Clarke155419
Marion134535
Winston123723
Lawrence122436
Geneva11748
Marengo116924
Barbour116110
Pickens115318
Bibb114217
Butler113741
Randolph99821
Cherokee98924
Hale91631
Washington90018
Clay89423
Fayette84416
Henry8426
Lowndes78729
Monroe76811
Cleburne74414
Crenshaw70330
Macon70020
Bullock69019
Conecuh66814
Perry6686
Lamar6267
Wilcox62418
Sumter55322
Choctaw41713
Greene40217
Coosa3074
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