U.S. Cities Will Be Able to Compete for Funding From JPMorgan

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

U.S. Cities Will Be Able to Compete for Funding From JPMorgan

JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to unveil a $500 million project Wednesday geared toward boosting economic growth in as many as 30 cities across the U.S.

The five-year initiative, “AdvancingCities,” includes a competition for funding. JPMorgan plans to invest, through public-private partnerships, in places where it can address employment barriers, financial insecurity and neighborhood disinvestment, said Peter Scher, head of corporate responsibility for the New York-based bank. Its request for proposals, going live Wednesday, will close at the end of November. It plans to announce winners in the spring.

Private-public partnerships have sprouted across the country as cash-strapped cities look to the private sector to fund long-term projects and programs.

In New York, city-affiliated nonprofits that are part of the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships raised close to $418 million in funding from companies, individuals and philanthropic funds and foundations between 2014 and 2017. Recent initiatives include free eyeglasses and vision screenings for children.

“Governments can’t do it alone,” said Darren Bloch, the office’s acting director. “The challenges the city and community are facing need that kind of all-hands approach.”

JPMorgan is looking for public-private partnerships in cities that have a lot of nonprofits and government entities, along with a commitment from the business community to work together. The bank plans to focus on four philanthropic areas: job training, neighborhood revitalization, small-business growth and consumer financial health.

The bank has already invested in U.S. cities, channeling funds toward affordable housing, helping launch small businesses and training people for jobs. From 2014 to 2019, JPMorgan will have invested $150 million in Detroit. It has also invested $40 million in Chicago and $25 million in the Washington, D.C., area...

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