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    One Company’s Investment in Detroit’s Minority-Owned Small Businesses

    JPMorgan Chase isn’t necessarily a name associated with big personality. It’s a bank that’s been around for over 200 years, and, according to their website, their assets total to around $2.6 trillion. This doesn’t mean they’re don’t have a personality, but businesses that big tend to lack approachability. If you live in Detroit, though, you might feel differently about JPMorgan Chase. They’ve made an investment of millions of dollars in Detroit over the last five years, and as of June 26, 2019, they’ve just added $50 million more to a fund that invests in the success of local small businesses owned by minorities.

    How did this come to be?

    To totally capture the significance of this investment, it’s important to understand the context surrounding its creation. After the national financial meltdown of 2008, the economy went through a recession that impacted us all. A few years after this, in 2013, the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy, making it the largest American city to have done so.

    Image by Dennis Jarvis via Flickr

    However, things started to bounce back. The city started to draw attention people from people all over the country. In 2014, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Detroit Development Fund partnered with JPMorgan Chase to create a fund that would invest $150 million in Detroit’s minority-run small businesses over five years. That fund was set to expire this year until, this week, JPMorgan Chase announced they were extending their contribution: $50 million more through the end of 2022.

    The company’s CEO and chairman Jamie Dimon said the following about the recent news:

    “Our new investment in Detroit will help the system work for more people — giving more Detroiters access to the tools they need to succeed, stay and benefit from Detroit’s continued recovery.”

    Who will benefit from this investment?

    JPMorgan Chase has made it clear that they want their money to impact minority entrepreneurs in Detroit, specifically those who haven’t had any advantages in starting their businesses.

    CNN’s recent article about the bank’s investment shows that the money has affected Detroit in the following ways:

    • 15,000+ people have gained access to financial services
    • Nearly 14,000 people have participated in job-training programs
    • About 21,000 jobs have been created/sustained because of JPMorgan Chase

    The funds have also helped groups like Focus: Hope, TechTown Detroit, and Greening of Detroit, all organizations that are geared toward helping their local communities succeed.

    Monetary investment

    Image by 401(K) 2012 via Flickr

    Helping Small Businesses In Detroit

    What’s wonderful about this money is that JPMorgan Chase is encouraging entrepreneurship in Detroit. The more people that start their own businesses, the more their money stays in local economies.

    Small businesses need space to operate, which means leasing spaces from local property owners. They’ll need supplies too, which they’ll hopefully be able to find at neighborhood stores. They’ll also need branding materials, like decals, signs, and vehicle wraps, to get their names out there. Finally, they’ll need their community to support them with their patronage.

    While the economic model in America might not seem complicated, it can be difficult to succeed within the system. However, large investments like the one from JPMorgan Chase help ensure individuals thrive in cities like Detroit.

    Featured image of the Chase Building in Dallas, TX, by Nicolas Henderson via Flickr
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