Chase investment helps assist underserved entrepreneurs

Business News | 11 Jun |

JPMorgan Chase today announced an investment of $1.6 million to the non-profit Accion to develop a state-of-the-art online system that streamlines lending to help reach and assist more underserved entrepreneurs and small businesses to create jobs and increase revenue.

The new lending platform has the potential to assist thousands more small businesses and entrepreneurs in the region comprised of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas, with the expectation of serving as a model that can be shared with the sector. 

Accion is an award-winning Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that increases access to business credit, makes loans and provides training to assist underserved entrepreneurs to advance their businesses and catalyze positive economic and social change. 

The enhanced system will have a transformational effect on Accion’s clients with 250 new features to better serve them. It will allow customers to choose loan size, pledge collateral, take digital signatures and perform other tasks. 

JPMorgan Chase also announced an additional $150,000 investment to help launch Levanta Phoenix, a pilot program to support Latino and Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs. Bilingual loan officers will develop new and innovative partnerships with community organizations serving Spanish-speaking populations to increase awareness of Accion’s services. Spanish outreach materials, bilingual technical assistance and training services will be available to clients. Clients also will be able to access their loan information online completely in Spanish.

A third component of the grant is a $185,000 investment for a credit needs assessment for South Dallas, where 30 percent of residents have subprime credit scores. Accion is implementing the project in collaboration with PeopleFund and LiftFund. 

The JPMorgan Chase investments were announced Tuesday (June 11) at an Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (AZHCC) Business Bootcamp, which assists small business owners in learning ways to gain access to loan capital. The Chamber works closely with Accion, and partnered in presenting the June bootcamp.  

The investments are part of the firm’s global firm’s global $150 million Small Business Forward program, which supports women, minority- and veteran-owned small businesses to help build their long term success, creating local, inclusive economic growth. JPMorgan Chase has previously supported Accion’s efforts to provide access to capital to underserved entrepreneurs, and the online platform will enhance these programs further.

“We are incredibly grateful for this investment from JPMorgan Chase,” said President and CEO of Accion, Anne Haines. “With support from JPMorgan Chase, enhanced technology, and partnership with community organizations like the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Accion will be able to help thousands of underserved entrepreneurs across our region realize their dreams.” 

“We are excited by these enhancements to Accion’s work to create access to capital for small businesses,” said AZHCC President and CEO Gonzalo A. de La Melena, Jr. “The chamber looks forward to collaborating further with Accion and JPMorgan Chase to increase inclusive entrepreneurship statewide.”

“This investment catalyzes Accion’s ability to assist underserved entrepreneurs through access to small business loans,” said Noreen Bishop, Managing Director, Market Manager, for the J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Arizona. “These loans help small businesses succeed, create jobs and drive inclusive economic growth that revitalizes underserved communities throughout the region.” 

Small businesses and entrepreneurs interested in learning more about Accion or their new lending platform may visit www.us.accion.org.

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