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JPMorgan Chase invests $1 million in small businesses in Baltimore/Washington amid coronavirus

JPMorgan Chase & Co. will invest $1 million to help underserved small businesses in Baltimore and Washington weather the economic impacts of the coronavirus.

Funds will be distributed through partnerships with Baltimore-based Harbor Bank of Maryland Community Development Corp. and the Latino Economic Development Center. The goal is to expand access to capital and allow businesses to find programs offering support.

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“The COVID-19 crisis is disproportionately impacting underserved people and vulnerable small businesses in the Greater Washington Region,” said Alexis Bataillon, who heads market strategy in the mid-Atlantic for the global financial services firm.

A $600,000 grant to Harbor Bank’s CDC will go toward a joint venture between Harbor Bank and Combs Enterprises, the portfolio of companies led by entrepreneur and entertainer Sean “Diddy” Combs, to create OurFairShare.com. The program will help small businesses in minority communities apply for state, local and federal small business relief programs.

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A $400,000 investment in the Latino Economic Development Center in Washington will provide 0% interest bridge loans and help small businesses get access to local, state and national resources.

The investment is part of JPMorgan Chase’s $250 million commitment to address immediate and long-term challenges of the COVID-19 crisis.

One study found that 40% of black-owned businesses in the U.S. have closed their doors due to the pandemic. Half of small businesses in the U.S. have fewer than 15 cash buffer days.

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