If you google how Detroit is doing, one of the first words you’ll find in the headlines is “comeback.” The city has bounced back from bankruptcy and its downtown area, in particular, is now booming. But the question of economic recovery is also one of equity: Namely, will longtime black Detroit residents, who stayed in the city when times were hardest, be able to benefit from the city’s resurgence?
With a new $50 million investment announced today, JP Morgan Chase hopes to ensure that black Detroit won’t be left behind.
The bank is upping its $150 million commitment to fuel Detroit’s economic recovery with an additional $50 million. The initial $150 million investment was set to end this year, but with Wednesday’s announcement, JP Morgan will extend its investment in the city through 2022.
Much of the $200 million is specifically targeted for black entrepreneurs and home-owners, allowing long-term city residents to access job training, achieve and sustain home ownership, receive funds for small businesses through loan programs, and tap into financial counseling services.
“Too many people are being left behind, and we need to build an economy that works for everyone,” Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO, said in a press release. “Our new investment in Detroit will help the system work for more people – giving more Detroiters access to the tools they need to succeed, stay and benefit from Detroit’s continued recovery.
The city of Detroit hit a historic low in 2013; after decades of economic decline, the city went bankrupt, marking the largest municipal bankruptcy in the country’s history. Five years later, parts of Detroit have recovered: According to CNN, the city has gone from an unemployment rate of 20 percent in 2013 to 9 percent in 2018, and home values have increased for the first time in 20 years. But deep economic and racial inequity mars progress in the city, as City Lab reports. With Detroit on the mend, the question has now become how to make the city’s rise one that all its residents have access to.
So far, the bank says its programs have provided 13,500 Detroit residents with job training for high-demand industries. And as WXYZ Detroit reports, Wednesday’s announcement follows a $15 million commitment Chase made in February for 10 Detroit neighborhoods; that funding was specifically earmarked for loans and job-creation grants.