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Chase Sweetens Small Business Lending Pot

JPMorgan Chase has announced $25 million in grants to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) serving hard-to-reach communities as part of the banking giant's efforts to support small businesses. When leveraged with private capital and government, the Chase initiative will increase lending to small businesses by $125 to $250 million, the bank said.

CDFIs are financial institutions that lend to low-income persons and businesses in struggling communities for community development purposes .

Grants range from $2 million to $5 million for institutions across the country:

  • ACCION Texas-Louisiana, an alternative lender in Texas and Louisiana;
  • Valley Economic Development Center Inc., the largest nonprofit small business development corporation in Los Angeles;
  • Opportunity Fund, a lender and technical assistance provider that meets the capital needs of low-income entrepreneurs in the San Francisco Bay Area;
  • First State Community Loan Fund, a growing CDFI that provides significant lending and technical assistance in Delaware, and
  • Enterprise Cascadia, a creditor and consultant to small businesses, community facilities, nonprofit organizations and consumers in Washington and Oregon.

“I am proud to further increase our support for small businesses with $25 million in grants to CDFIs,” said Jamie Dimon, the bank’s chairman and CEO. “Small businesses are critical to our economy and they need permanent capital to strengthen their balance sheets in order to grow.
The grants, for most of the organizations, double their existing capital bases and enable them to grow in ways they can’t today. Additional grants will be announced later, the bank said.

Nationwide, there are more than 1,000 CDFIs with a collective $25 billion in assets. Their primary mission is community development and the development of programs and strategies to meet the needs of low-income communities. CDFIs provide comprehensive credit, investment, banking and development services and are certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s CDFI Fund. They have lent and invested billions of dollars in our nation’s most distressed and underserved communities.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.