JPMor­gan Chase’s $3.65 mil­lion lend­ing plan

Fund would fos­ter mi­nor­ity busi­ness de­vel­op­ment in Bal­ti­more-D.C. area

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Mered­ith Cohn

Bank­ing gi­ant JPMor­gan Chase & Co. planned to an­nounce to­day that it and part­ners will give $6.65 mil­lion to com­mu­nity groups in the Bal­ti­more-Washington re­gion that lend money to mi­nor­ity-owned busi­nesses and en­trepreneurs to help them start and grow busi­nesses.

In Bal­ti­more, money will go to two groups — The Har­bor Bank of Mary­land Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Corp. and the Latino Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter — that al­ready have roots in the com­mu­nity and the abil­ity to iden­tify good can­di­dates for loans and tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance.

The money is the fifth En­trepreneurs of Color Fund cre­ated by JPMor­gan Chase since 2015, with oth­ers in Detroit, Chicago, San Fran­cisco and South Bronx, N.Y. The $36 mil­lion in fund­ing so far has supported 200 loans val­ued at $9.5 mil­lion, with just one de­fault to date.

New York-based JPMor­gan Chase an­nounced last spring that it planned to ex­pand its op­er­a­tions into the Bal­ti­more and Washington mar­kets, most vis­i­bly open­ing 70 branches of Chase Bank and em­ploy­ing 700 people. Chase Bank has yet to an­nounce a Bal­ti­more lo­ca­tion.

In Novem­ber, the bank­ing gi­ant an­nounced that it has opened an of­fice of its ex­clu­sive J.P. Mor­gan Pri­vate Bank for high net worth cus­tomers in Bal­ti­more’s Har­bor East.

The aim of the En­trepreneurs of Color Fund is to make loans from $50,000 to $150,000 to those who would oth­er­wise have dif­fi­culty ob­tain­ing fi­nanc­ing be­cause they have no credit his­tory, un­even cash flow, a blotch on their credit score or some other is­sue, said Ted Archer, head of Small Busi­ness For­ward at Chase who is lead­ing the ef­fort.

Archer said the fund specif­i­cally seeks to im­prove com­mer­cial cor­ri­dors through small-busi­ness in­vest­ment and help busi­nesses gain ac­cess to the sup­ply chains of area an­chor in­sti­tu­tions such as hos­pi­tals, uni­ver­si­ties and govern­ment agen­cies.

Chase will seed the fund with $3.65 mil­lion, and $2 mil­lion more will come from the Washington non­profit Cap­i­tal Im­pact Part­ners and $1 mil­lion will come from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foun­da­tion. The An­nie E. Casey Foun­da­tion and the Bal­ti­more Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion are also part­ner­ing on the project and are ex­pected to pro­vide busi­ness sup­port.

In the Bal­ti­more area, the fund will aim loans at mi­nor­ity-owned com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment firms, though the com­mu­nity groups that will hold the loans and pro­vide the as­sis­tance will also serve other types of busi­nesses.

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