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Driving Inclusive Growth in Underserved Washington, DC, Neighborhoods

JPMorgan Chase & Co. announces long-term investment focusing on skills building, minority-owned small business growth, neighborhood revitalization and financial health primarily in Wards 7 and 8.
Press Release

September 25, 2017 (Washington, DC) – JPMorgan Chase & Co. today unveiled a $10 million, three-year investment to help drive inclusive economic growth in underserved Washington, DC, neighborhoods, most notably in Wards 7 and 8. This long-term commitment is the firm’s third investment in a major US city. It combines the firm’s business expertise and collaboration with local business and community leaders to invest in four key drivers of inclusive growth: jobs and skills, minority-owned small business expansion, neighborhood revitalization and financial health.

“Greater Washington is one of the world’s most economically influential regions yet not all residents benefit equally,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase. “We’re investing in DC because we see local leaders working together and innovating to make opportunity available to all Washingtonians no matter the neighborhood they live in.”

How the Firm Is Creating Economic Opportunity

JPMorgan Chase makes approximately $250 million in annual philanthropic investments to create economic opportunity across the US and in 40 countries around the world. To ensure the greatest impact, the firm combines data with its business expertise—including human capital, management expertise and partnerships—to create opportunity in underserved communities.

Over the last five years, the firm has developed several global initiatives focused on the key drivers of inclusive growth. These initiatives, which are being applied in Detroit, Chicago and now Washington, DC, equip workers with critical skills, help minority small business owners by providing them with the capital and expertise they need to grow, revitalize underserved neighborhoods by investing in affordable housing and locally driven solutions and help individuals get the tools needed to build strong financial futures.

"We've seen in our work in the United States and around the world that collaboration is critical to developing long-term, regional economic solutions that benefit everyone and we’re seeing more of this taking place in Greater Washington every day,” said Peter Scher, Chairman of the Washington, DC, region for JPMorgan Chase and Global Head of Corporate Responsibility. “By working with business, community and civic leaders, our investment will accelerate efforts to drive inclusive growth in Wards 7 and 8 and create more opportunities for more people."

As in Detroit and Chicago, JPMorgan Chase will leverage its most important asset—the expertise and commitment of the firm’s employees through its Service Corps (skills-based employee volunteer program), Office of Nonprofit Engagement and lines of business—to maximize the impact of its philanthropic investments and help build the capacity of local nonprofit partners to expand and better serve their communities.

Investing in DC

JPMorgan Chase has been doing business in the Greater Washington region since 1999, and its business continues to grow with more than 250 employees in the area.

As the third largest regional economy in the US, the Greater Washington region is a growing center of economic activity. The region has the largest high-tech corridor outside of Silicon Valley, a highly skilled and educated workforce and is a hub for Fortune 1000 companies, research universities, nonprofit and civic organizations.

But the region faces challenges around economic mobility and inclusion, and low-income communities have increasingly become disconnected from opportunity. Wards 7 and 8 in the District and adjacent counties in Maryland are facing high poverty and unemployment rates, displacement of local businesses, economic instability and limited affordable housing.

As part of this $10 million investment, $5 million is being awarded to a Washington, DC-based collaborative of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to address racial and economic disparity in Wards 7 and 8 arising from the development of the Bridge Park. This collaborative is a winner of JPMorgan Chase’s $125 million PRO Neighborhoods annual competition, which encourages CDFIs to align talent, technology and capital to revitalize underserved neighborhoods around the United States.

“By making deliberate and intentional investments in historically underserved neighborhoods, we are able to get more District residents on pathways to the middle class,” said District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Today, we know that while DC’s economy is thriving, not enough residents are benefitting from our city’s prosperity. JPMorgan Chase’s commitment is a welcome addition to the civic and community partners working to ensure that residents in every corner of DC are able to participate in the inclusive prosperity of the city, not just witness it.”

Specifically, this $5 million investment will support a collaborative between the Ward 8 nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River and two CDFIs—City First Enterprises and Washington Area Community Investment Fund, Inc. Building Bridges Across the River (BBAR) has designed an inclusive growth plan that works to prevent resident displacement, improve neighborhood conditions and boost small business activity as economic development increases in the area. These organizations will work together to develop and preserve affordable housing near the 11th Street Bridge, provide capital to minority and locally owned small businesses, and provide construction training to local residents for work on the 11th Street Bridge Park.

“We’re thrilled that JPMorgan Chase recognizes the community-driven work we are doing to ensure nearby residents can stay and thrive in place,” said Scott Kratz, Director, 11th Street Bridge Park, a project of Building Bridges Across the River. “Bringing affordable housing, job opportunities and wealth creation is critical to maintaining the integrity and sustainability of the neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River.”

An additional $5 million investment will focus on providing more residents in Wards 7 and 8, and throughout the Washington region, with opportunities to benefit from the region’s economic growth through workforce, small business, neighborhood revitalization and consumer financial health initiatives that can be scaled, partnering with others in the private and public sectors to make smart investments and accelerate the progress that has already been made to develop innovative, data-driven solutions.

Working Together for a Better Future

JPMorgan Chase strongly believes in forging partnerships among business, government and nonprofits to solve complex problems. Strong examples of collaboration in the region already exist, including the Bridge Park Collaborative, Ascend 2020 and the Greater Washington Partnership. The firm will work closely with local community, business and elected leaders to focus investments on key drivers of inclusive growth.

 

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