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Op-Ed: Investing in Hispanics and Latinos translates into a stronger economy for all

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Carolina Jannicelli is head of community impact at JPMorgan Chase. 

Hispanics and Latinos represent nearly a fifth of the U.S. population, and have an outsized impact on the economy, contributing more than $3.2 trillion annually. If they were a standalone country, it would be fifth largest economy in the world, ranking just before Canada and England.

Despite their contribution to the fiscal health of America, Hispanics and Latinos continue to face disparities when it comes to accessing economic opportunity and paths to wealth building. 

It is clear that investing in Hispanic and Latino communities is essential to help create a stronger U.S. economy. But the needs of this segment are as diverse as its people, which is why JPMorgan Chase is taking deliberate action to help create opportunities that are inclusive and long-lasting. Here are just a few examples of how JPMorgan Chase is supporting the financial growth of Hispanics and Latinos.

Key Drivers for Economic Growth

The Hispanic and Latino community is rich in culture, defined by its tenacity and resilience. Still, for many, structural barriers stand in the way of economic mobility. After analyzing these barriers and the largest drivers of the racial wealth divide in the U.S., and with input from advocacy and community focused organizations, JPMorgan Chase announced its $30 billion, five-year Racial Equity Commitment (REC) in 2020 to help advance economic inclusion among Hispanic, Latino, Black and underserved customers and communities across the nation. However, this work demonstrates the business case for achieving a more inclusive economy that can benefit everyone. 

Wrapping your head around what $30 billion can do and how it can impact American communities, both big and small, warrants a look into the four key areas of economic opportunity outlined by the firm. Those are: expanding affordable housing, increasing homeownership, growing small businesses and improving financial health. In practice, this commitment to date translates into: 

  • Deploying funding of approximately $18 billion in loans to incentivize the preservation of nearly 170,000 affordable housing rental units across the United States,
  • Launching the $5,000 Chase Homebuyer Grant program, which was expanded in 2023, making the grant now available in more than 14,000 communities nationwide. 
  • Launching a Special Purpose Credit Program (“SPCP”) which is helping expand credit access for small businesses in historically underserved areas.
  • And helping more than 400,000 customers open low-cost checking accounts. 

 Showing Up in Communities

The impact of the firm’s REC commitment can’t be solely assessed by how much money is deployed. Strong relationships forged to establish and grow trust have been a focus and important component of the work. JPMorgan Chase expanded its footprint in underserved communities by hiring of more than 300 community-focused managers, home lending advisors and senior business consultants, and opening of more than 300 community-style branches, including 16 Community Center branches.*

The Community Center Branches are distinct because they take inspiration from the community in which they are located. They are built with extra space to host community events, financial health workshops and skills training at no cost for both Chase customers and non-customers. They often include local artwork and architecture, and the majority are built with minority contractors as part of the firm’s efforts to engage more diverse vendors.

Our dedicated Community Managers build relationships with community leaders, nonprofits and small businesses. They are often from the neighborhoods where they work, giving them insight into the unique challenges faced by the community. With that awareness, they are better able to empower customers and connect them with the resources, tools, and allies they need to meet their financial goals.

Supporting the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Hispanic/Latino-owned small businesses are a driving force in the U.S. economy, according to the Small Business Administration. However, lack of access to capital can lead to barriers in establishing, growing and scaling companies. As a major driver of generational wealth, making entrepreneurship more accessible is critical for long-term and sustainable economic growth. 

For that reason, JPMorgan Chase is seeking to help customers obtain access to capital. In 2022, the firm provided $4.3 billion in loans and lines of credit to small businesses, including $860.4 million to businesses in majority Hispanic, Latino and Black communities. 

Additionally, Chase senior business consultants coached more than 3,000 Black, Hispanic, Latino small businesses across 21 U.S. cities through 2022, complimentary to small business owners, Chase customers or not. 

How We Do Business

JPMorgan Chase launched Advancing Hispanics & Latinos (AHL) in 2021 to promote the growth and success of Hispanics and Latinos across the globe both inside and out of the firm. This initiative focuses on extending opportunities for students, employees, business owners, and communities to help them build a stronger economic foundation.

One notable example of this work is AHL’s wealth summit series, Building Nuestro Futuro – complimentary sessions designed to equip all communities with tools, information and consejos to help build a stronger economic foundation. This series, provides key insights about topics ranging from the value of homeownership and investing to the importance of changing the conversation about money at home with subject matter experts and financial health influencers. Through these sessions, JPMorgan Chase aims to demystify wealth creation and help guide participants’ unique financial journey.

The road ahead 

JPMorgan Chase is helping to build a bridge to economic security and wealth creation in communities that have historically lacked opportunity. I am so proud of the progress we’re making to elevate and support the hard work of the Hispanic and Latino community. By partnering with community leaders and policymakers, we are seeking to create pathways to help Hispanic businesses and families reap the benefits of their contributions. 

The path to financial equity for all is on the horizon. 

Learn more about how the firm is supporting Hispanic and Latino communities.

*As of March 2023, including 2 branches opened in 2019 before the announcement of the Racial Equity Commitment.

 «This article was contributed by an author who is not affiliated with MundoNow. The views, opinions, and content expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of MundoNow»

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