By Ryan Velez
Washington D.C. has a lot of contrasts, home to some of the most powerful people in America as well as some of the country’s most impoverished neighborhoods. Black Enterprise reports that JP Morgan Chase & Co. aims to lessen the economic disparity dilemma by investing $10 million over three years into the District’s Wards 7 and 8.
The largest bank in the country, JP Morgan is claiming that the move will allow it to combine its business skills with working alongside community leaders and local companies to hit four key areas: 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,” Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase said in a statement. “We’re investing in D.C. because we see local leaders working together and innovating to make the opportunity available to all Washingtonians no matter the neighborhood they live in.”
This isn’t the first time that JPMorgan Chase has done something like this for a city in need. JPMorgan announced in September its plan to invest $40 million to help deter violence and poverty in Chicago’s South and West sides. In 2014, it invested $100 million in Detroit, later raising that amount to $150 million.
Expect similar initiatives to those introduced in Chicago and Detroit when it comes to the bank’s plans for Washington. These include offering workers job and skills training and providing minority small business owners capital and expertise they need to grow. The bank intends to help revitalize underserved neighborhoods by investing in affordable housing. There’s a lot of potential in the area. Greater Washington has the third-largest regional economy in the country, and the largest high-tech corridor outside of Silicon Valley. However, the poorer parts of this area are reaping few of the benefits.
“We’re thrilled that JPMorgan Chase recognizes the community-driven work we are doing to ensure nearby residents can stay and thrive in place,” stated Scott Kratz, director, 11th Street Bridge Park, a project of Building Bridges Across the River. “Bringing affordable housing, job opportunities and wealth creation are critical to maintaining the integrity and sustainability of the neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River.”