Chase Foundation grant aims to create jobs

The JPMorgan Chase Foundation has awarded a $7 million grant to four Community Development Financial Institutions to help them create jobs in low and moderate income communities, including Milwaukee.

The Foundation’s CDFI Collaboratives program will provide a total of $33 million for CDFIs and small business lenders to lend to small businesses in Milwaukee, Detroit, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, Buffalo and New York City.

Minneapolis, Minn.-based Community Reinvestment Fund, USA, is leading the Small and Medium Enterprises Collaborative, which also includes the New York, NY-based National Development Council, Wiscasset, Maine-based CEI and the Bethesda, Md.-based Calvert Foundation.

“By joining forces we will share technology platforms, back-office lending capabilities and market strategies to drive more capital to small businesses,” said Frank Altman, president and chief executive officer of CRF. “This unique partnership is an opportunity for all of our organizations to realize even more economies of scale in our targeted areas.”

The collaborative will work to lend $81 million in small business financing, create 5,000 new jobs, fund 200 small businesses, attract another $10 million in capital from 7,000 investors, help CDFI lender to become more efficient and provide training, consultation and resources to community lenders.

“The JPMorgan Chase Foundation is proud to help CDFIs build capacity and increase collaboration in order to better support local economic growth, through its new CDFI Collaboratives program,” said Janis Bowdler, senior program director for financial capability and affordable housing at the Foundation. “This collaborative of four nonprofit lenders, led by Community Reinvestment Fund, USA, will support small businesses and create jobs in Milwaukee and across the U.S.”

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