HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--JPMorgan Chase & Co. is extending a significant investment to Houston-area small businesses impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Today, the firm announced a $1.5 million investment that allows two Houston organizations to extend 90-day loan payment reprieves and ongoing financial assistance to local small businesses in need.
Both LiftFund and PeopleFund, non-profit small business lenders, specialize in serving small businesses that are owned by women, veterans, minorities and low-income entrepreneurs. Small businesses have the potential to reduce unemployment and expand opportunity for all. Yet, a study by the JPMorgan Chase Institute found that one in four small businesses hold less than 13 days of cash in reserve, making them especially vulnerable in times of disruption.
“For Houston to fully recover, our small businesses must remain strong engines of economic opportunity,” said Nataly Marks, Managing Director for JPMorgan Chase in Houston. “For many years now, LiftFund and PeopleFund have helped Houstonians grow their small businesses, providing jobs and supporting a thriving economy. We are proud to stand with them and their many clients in the challenging months ahead.”
JPMorgan Chase is the largest bank in Houston, employing more than 6,400 people and serving more than 3.6 million business and consumer clients. The firm has contributed more than $5.5 million in grants, donations and employee giving to provide immediate relief to victims of Hurricane Harvey.
To do more to lift up the community, Chase will host community events at three Houston-area branches this weekend. There will be resources and guidance for storm relief, giveaways, food and activities for kids.
JPMorgan Chase has long supported LiftFund, providing more than $11 million to the San Antonio-based group. The nonprofit lender provides small business loans and minority-business loans for women, startups and entrepreneurs, as well as essential business education throughout its thirteen-state footprint. LiftFund will use the investment to provide three months of payment forgiveness to clients in the disaster area and provide access to capital for new and existing businesses.
“LiftFund is grateful for JPMorgan Chase’s long-term support of our efforts to empower small businesses in Texas. Small businesses are the lifeblood and backbone of local economies. This latest JPMorgan Chase investment means LiftFund can serve more clients, providing critical support for small business owners impacted by Hurricane Harvey,” said Janie Barrera, LiftFund President and CEO.
PeopleFund is based in Austin and has lent more than $56 million to create economic opportunity and financial stability for minorities, women, veterans and low-income entrepreneurs. The investment from JPMorgan Chase will assist small businesses in Houston, Corpus Christi and rural communities in Harvey’s path. Those impacted businesses will receive at least 3 months of loan forgiveness.
“Hurricane Harvey created enormous challenges for small business owners in Houston and the Gulf Coast. Through the incredible generosity of JPMorgan Chase, these challenges have become opportunities for businesses that rely on PeopleFund for loans,” said Gary Lindner, President and CEO of PeopleFund. “With the bank’s support, business loan payments are covered for three months and working capital is readily available to get businesses back in operation. That JPMorgan Chase stepped up to help recover, rebuild, and revive the Gulf Coast economy is testimony to its enduring commitment to the entrepreneurial spirit of Texas.”
JPMorgan Chase’s support of LiftFund and PeopleFund is part of the firm’s innovative, data-driven investment to build and grow underserved entrepreneurs is part of the firm’s five-year, $75 million Small Business Forward initiative to provide flexible financing and other support to underserved women, minority and veteran-owned small businesses by applying what the firm has learned from small business investments in other communities.
In addition to providing $5.5 million in Harvey relief to date, Chase automatically waived or refunded late fees for mortgage, credit card, business banking and auto loans and leases through September 24. It did the same for overdraft, service and ATM fees on consumer and small-business checking and savings accounts.
For all customers who live in a FEMA-designated individual assistance disaster area, the firm paused the obligation to make mortgage and home equity payments for 90 days from when the hurricane first hit. If customers are having trouble keeping up with their mortgage payment, JPMorgan Chase will work with customers to find options that will help that catch up on payments that come due during the pause.
“Chase stands by our communities in good times and in tough times,” Marks said. “I’m proud to work for a company that has stepped up in such a significant way to help Houston.”
The community gatherings at local Chase branches will begin with two events on Saturday, October 7. The first will be from 9 a.m. until noon at 611 South Friendswood Drive. The second will be from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. at 5207 Airline Drive. There will be one community event on Sunday, October 8. It will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 400 Mason Road in Katy.
For more information about how Chase is helping those impacted by Harvey, go to: https://www.chase.com/harvey
About JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com. Follow us on Twitter @Chase and @ChaseSmallBiz, and at www.facebook.com/chase.
Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund is a non-profit financial and business support service organization that helps entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. LiftFund has the nation’s largest microlender portfolio and is committed to providing capital to entrepreneurs who do not have access to loans from commercial sources. Since its inception, LiftFund has made over 19,000 loans totaling more than $250 million. LiftFund operates in 13 states – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. To learn more about LiftFund visit www.liftfund.com.
PeopleFund is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 1994. It is a U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and SBA certified lender. PeopleFund provides business loans up to $350,000 to Texas businesses that do not qualify for bank loans. It also provides client business assistance and education. The target market is minority, women, and veteran business owners and those residing in low to moderate income census tracts. Over 50% of current loans are to startups and non-profit organizations. Through access to capital and educational opportunities, PeopleFund creates economic opportunity and financial stability for underserved people to build healthy small businesses. PeopleFund inspires, educates, funds, and elevates entrepreneurs on the path to prosperity and the American Dream. Learn more about PeopleFund at www.peoplefund.org.