JPMorgan has invested $150 million in Detroit. Now it’s adding $50 million more

Posted at 4:24 AM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 09:27:17-04

JPMorgan Chase is increasing its investment in Detroit, including in small businesses run by minorities.

The bank is adding $50 million into its investment of the city, bringing the total to $200 million, the company announced Wednesday. JPMorgan initially invested $150 million in the city over five years, due to end in 2019. Now, the new investment extends the fund through 2022.

Part of the investment will go toward the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, which was established in 2014 with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Detroit Development Fund to help the city’s economy recover from the financial meltdown of 2008.

JPMorgan said in a press release that the new “data-driven investment” will be used in four ways: Loan programs for small business, job training programs, access to affordable housing and financial health programs.

The bank said its initial investment has had a “significant impact” on the Michigan city: The fund has helped more than 15,000 Detroit citizens gain access to financial services, while nearly 14,000 people participated in job-training programs and about 2,100 jobs were either created or maintained, according to JPMorgan.

The fund has also helped create multiple programs, including a group called Focus: Hope, a startup incubator called TechTown Detroit and a nonprofit environmental group titled Greening of Detroit.

“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,” Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan’s CEO and chairman, said in the release. “A good education, the skills to secure a good job, a home, and the capital and assistance to start and grow a small business are some of the tools to creating opportunity and a society where everyone benefits.”

Detroit has struggled especially hard since the recession, when it became the largest American city to ever file for bankruptcy.

But things are turning around. The unemployment rate has been slashed in half — from 20% in 2013 to 9% in 2018. And, for the first time in nearly two decades, home values have increased, the bank said.

The Detroit fund has been used as a model for JPMorgan’s investment programs in other cities, such as Chicago, New York City and San Francisco.

Earlier this year JPMorgan also launched a five-year, $350 million program to help train US workers for the jobs of the future. Part of the fund will help low-income Americans, including those who have been stigmatized due to criminal records that make it hard for them to find work and keep them cycling in and out of jail.

Dimon previously told CNN’s Poppy Harlow that he believes the US economy is “fundamentally anti-poor.”

“If you live in certain parts of town, if you’re white or Hispanic or black, you can pretty much be left behind,” Dimon told Harlow. “Kids aren’t getting the education they need to get a job … and I’m talking about a real job.”

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly described the breadth of the investment JPMorgan is making in Detroit.