PROVIDENCE, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As part of its previously announced commitment to support communities and small businesses, Citizens Bank today announced specifics of how more than $5 million in funding will be allocated to organizations and small business recovery funds across the communities it serves, including $4.2 million that will go directly to small businesses in the bank’s footprint.
“The coronavirus pandemic presents unique challenges both today and over the longer term, and Citizens is committed to supporting our neighbors across this spectrum of need,” said Bruce Van Saun, Chairman and CEO, Citizens Financial Group. “Our approach puts these funds in the hands of our community partners and small businesses quickly to meet immediate needs while setting the stage for a sustainable recovery.”
Citizens will direct the funds as follows:
Small Business Recovery
Citizens will provide $2 million in direct grants to its small business customers to help them continue operating and recover from adverse conditions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The program will provide 134 grants at $15,000 each. Eligible Citizens customers who have been in business for a minimum of two years and with up to $5 million in annual revenue are encouraged to apply for one of the $15,000 grants. Details of the award program can be found at Citizensbank.com/smallbusinessrecovery.
Additionally, $2.2 million will be allocated to organizations across Citizens’ footprint that are providing grants for small business recovery. Grants to small businesses through these organizations will be as much as $25,000, based on size and need.
Partner organizations include:
- Albany Community Loan Fund
- Boston Main Streets Foundation
- Buffalo Westminster Economic Development Fund
- City of Boston Small Business Relief Fund
- Eastern Market Partnership
- Economic & Community Development Institute
- Great Lakes Women’s Business Council
- LISC Connecticut
- LISC Massachusetts
- LISC Rhode Island
- NH Community Development Finance Authority
- Philadelphia Small Business Relief Fund
- Pittsburgh Economic Industrial Corporation
Citizens customers with the Citizens Cash Back Plus® World Mastercard® will also be able to lend their support. Starting this week, through their online account, customers have the option to make a charitable donation to these organizations using all or part of their Rewards Points.
Community Support Relief Program
Citizens* will also allocate $860,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts supporting urgent needs across the bank’s service area. Examples include:
- $150,000 to response funds in Massachusetts, including $75,000 to the Boston Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, and $75,000 to the Boston Resiliency Fund
- $125,000 to the COVID-19 Response Fund in partnership with the United Way and the Philadelphia Foundation.
- $125,000 to the COVID-19 Response Fund in Rhode Island, in partnership with the United Way of Rhode Island and The Rhode Island Foundation
The Community Support Relief funds will provide grants to organizations with a successful track record of delivering critical services for at-risk populations. Grants will enable nonprofits to continue providing community safety nets such as food pantries and health services, as well as preparedness and protection services including hygiene supplies and access to accurate information.
In addition to providing new funding, Citizens removed programmatic restrictions on 2020 funding to non-profit partners to allow support to be diverted to the areas of greatest need.
“Without question, small business is the lifeblood of the communities in which we operate, and in these trying times, we want to do our part to bolster their vitality and long term viability,” added Jack Murphy, President, Business Banking, Citizens Bank. “This new program emphasizes our ongoing support for our small business customers affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as supporting local economies and communities.”
* Community Support Relief Funds are allocated from Citizens Bank and the Citizens Charitable Foundation.
Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest financial institutions, with $165.7 billion in assets as of December 31, 2019. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, Citizens offers a broad range of retail and commercial banking products and services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, large corporations and institutions. Citizens helps its customers reach their potential by listening to them and by understanding their needs in order to offer tailored advice, ideas and solutions. In Consumer Banking, Citizens provides an integrated experience that includes mobile and online banking, a 24/7 customer contact center and the convenience of approximately 2,700 ATMs and approximately 1,100 branches in 11 states in the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Consumer Banking products and services include a full range of banking, lending, savings, wealth management and small business offerings. In Commercial Banking, Citizens offers corporate, institutional and not-for-profit clients a full range of wholesale banking products and services, including lending and deposits, capital markets, treasury services, foreign exchange and interest rate products, and asset finance. More information is available www.citizensbank.com or visit us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
About Citizens Charitable Foundation
The Citizens Charitable Foundation is a philanthropic organization funded by Citizens Financial Group, Inc. The Foundation’s mission is centered in the belief that citizenship is at the heart of Citizens’ identity, and when people and communities reach their potential, we all thrive. The Citizens Charitable Foundation currently focuses its giving in three key areas: helping people to manage their money, engaging with partners in the fight against hunger, and strengthening our communities. By investing in these important issues, the Citizens Charitable Foundation strives to improve the lives of our fellow citizens through building partnerships with public, private, and community interests to develop neighborhoods, transform lives, and stimulate economic renewal.