JPMorgan Chase (Courtesy of Class Action Reporter)

JPMorgan Chase & Co. recently unveiled a plan to invest $10 million over three years to help drive inclusive economic growth in underserved neighborhoods in Wards 7 and 8.

Announced Monday, Sept. 25, this would be the firm’s third long-term commitment and investment in a major U.S. city.

“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 D.C. because we see local leaders working together and innovating to make opportunity available to all Washingtonians, no matter the neighborhood they live in.”

This investment will combines the firm’s business expertise, collaboration with local businesses 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 according to the bank.

“By making deliberate and intentional investments in historically underserved neighborhoods, we are able to get more District residents on pathways to the middle class,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said. “Today, we know that while D.C.’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 D.C. are able to participate in the inclusive prosperity of the city, not just witness it.”

JPMorgan Chase recognizes the greater Washington area as the third-largest regional economy in the U.S., due to becoming a growing center of economic activity.

They assert that the region has the largest high-tech corridor outside of Silicon Valley, a highly skilled and educated workforce and remains a hub for Fortune 1000 companies, research universities, nonprofit and civic organizations.

However, the disproportionate wealth gap between neighborhoods in the District enables them to connect low-income communities with opportunities.

“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,” the firm said in a statement. “As part of this $10 million investment, $5 million is being awarded to a Washington, D.C.-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.”

Specifically, the $5 million investment will support a collaboration between the Ward 8 nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River and two CDFIs.

According to the bank, 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 of 11th Street Bridge Park, BBAR. “Bringing affordable housing, job opportunities and wealth creation is critical to maintaining the integrity and sustainability of the neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River.”

These initiatives that the firm will bring to D.C. have already been applied in Detroit and Chicago.

“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 D.C. 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.”

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Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s...

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