U.S. lender JPMorgan Chase intends to invest over two million US dollars in a program which offers grants to non-profit organizations in Chicago, Illinois. The grants constitute a $40 million commitment that the bank made with a view to creating economic opportunities in the West and South sides of Chicago.
The grant totaling $2 million will be channeled to six non-profits which focus on assisting minority and female entrepreneurs as well as small enterprises in distressed neighborhoods. Some of the recipients of the grant include Sunshine Enterprises, World Business Chicago, Women’s Business Development Center, Blue1647, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation and 1871.
Business-sector diversity gap
Additionally JPMorgan Chase has also made an investment in developer, lender and real estate consultant IFF Chicago, an organization focused on helping non-profit organizations in low-income communities. These programs are expected to assist in closing the diversity gap in the business sector as well as giving entrepreneurs access to resources and capital.
JPMorgan Chase announced the investment of $40 million in September and it is the second-biggest commitment the U.S. lender has made in a single city. The biggest commitment the bank made was in Detroit where JPMorgan Chase invested $150 million. JPMorgan Chase will also apply the same model it used in Detroit where the focus will be placed on promoting economic growth in order to address violent crime and poverty.
In order to promote economic opportunities in the targeted neighborhoods, JPMorgan Chase indicated that the distribution of 95% of the total commitment will be in form of grants. These grants will be distributed to community groups in the course of three years with the intention of fueling neighborhood rebirth, growth of small business and job training. So far approximately $5.7 million has been allocated by the lender.
JPMorgan Chase is also holding discussions with corporations and nonprofits in Chicago with a view to identifying other philanthropic opportunities that may exist.
“We saw a lot of strong non-profit organizations in Chicago that are working with entrepreneurs and investing in the community. We thought we could play a meaningful role in helping those investments come to neighborhoods,” Charlie Corrigan, JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s vice president, said.
Before the year ends JPMorgan intends to announce additional grants totaling $4 million. This will bring the total that has so far been invested in Chicago to over $10 million. The shift in how JPMorgan Chase is engaging in philanthropic giving as demonstrated in Detroit and Chicago is intended to increase the impact the bank’s donations have.