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JPMorgan Chase to invest additional $50 million in Detroit

Detroit Skyline
Lester Graham
/
Michigan Radio
Detroit skyline

JPMorgan Chase announced it will invest an additional $50 million to aid in Detroit’s economic recovery. 

This is the latest in a series of investments from the financial services firm and bank. JPMorgan Chase had initially invested $150 million in the city starting in 2014, over a period of five years. This additional $50 million extends the firm’s commitment through 2022.

In a press release, JPMorgan Chase listed the full breakdown for budgeting the $50 million. $20 million is planned to go to programs that improve access to home ownership and affordable housing, $12 million is allotted for boosting black-owned businesses and entrepreneurship in communities of color, $10 million is to be set aside for job training and reducing employment barriers, and $8 million is planned for general financial health, including increased access to financial planning and counseling.

John Carter is the region manager for JPMorgan Chase in Michigan. He says Detroit functions as a model for investments made by JPMorgan Chase in other urban centers, such as Chicago, San Francisco, and New York City, particularly when it comes to investing in the community.

“Our original idea of how we wanted to grow things in Detroit: small business development was one of those things. We formed something called the Entrepreneurs of Color. That enterprise has made almost 90 loans: small loans to entrepreneurs to get started in businesses where it was an important aspect of something going on in Detroit, but the type of business where they might have had a really hard time getting a traditional bank loan.”

He says this kind of microloan that specifically helps communities of color is an idea that has helped promote economic growth in many cities, but is especially crucial for Detroit.

“The entire $50 million is very much targeted to things that affect what we consider to be the principal population of Detroit; 80% of the residents of Detroit are African American,” he says.

Jeff Donofrio is the executive director of the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development in Detroit. He says Detroiters have a lot of obstacles to overcome when it comes to employment and financial stability. 

“What we’ve seen over the last five years is an increase in residential employment for Detroit and for Detroiters, of more than 20,000 individuals.” Despite this, Donofrio says, “There’s still a lot more training we need to do to close that skills gap, there’s still a lot of barriers we have to remove for folks who are having trouble getting that job and keeping that job because of child care or transportation, because they might have a criminal record. We have to do things that increase the opportunity for all of those individuals, because that’s the only way we’re going to succeed as individuals and as a state.”

JPMorgan Chase, he says, has put its money where its mouth is when it comes to helping Detroit and Detroiters achieve financial stability.

"JPMorgan helped us with training returning citizens, they helped us find ways to provide wraparound support support services, things like transportation and training for work readiness: that's going to help someone get a job and keep a job," says Donofrio. "So they've done that already. Now they're coming in with another $10 million into the workforce to say, we're going to continue supporting to scale and expand and help more people.”

 

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