JPMorgan Chase brings minority business lending program to DC area

WASHINGTON — JPMorgan Chase, which opened its first retail banking branch in D.C. last fall with a promise of $4 billion in regional home and small business lending, has expanded its Entrepreneurs of Color Fund to the area, with loans and business training for minority entrepreneurs in the region.

JPMorgan, along with Capital Impact partners and the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, have launched the fund with $6.65 million to offer loans to non-white business owners.

The fund also covers lending in the Baltimore region.

This is the fifth city for the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, which JPMorgan has previously launched in Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco and New York.

To date, more than $17 million from JPMorgan Chase has attracted another $22 million from investors. JPMorgan says the fund has helped create or preserve 1,250 jobs at minority-owned businesses.

“Making the economy work for more people is not only a moral obligation, it is a business imperative,” said Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase.

“We are expanding our existing commitment to help create economic opportunity for more black families, businesses, employees and communities.”

JPMorgan plans to open 70 new branches in the D.C. and Baltimore area and has said it will hire 700 new employees.

According to JPMorgan, at least 20 percent of the new branches it plans to open in the area will be in low- and moderate-income communities, including Wards 7 and 8 in D.C., Prince George’s County and neighborhoods in Baltimore.

In addition to its commitment to small business and residential lending, JPMorgan has also committed $500 million to affordable rental housing and $25 million to philanthropy for local economic growth.

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