Did you hear what’s brewing in Chicago? Starbucks Coffee Company announced a $10 million investment to drive economic opportunity in the city’s underserved communities. The funds, which are slated to help finance more than 500 loans to support small businesses and create jobs, will be disbursed among four community lenders with expertise in those neighborhoods, and LISC Chicago is one. The investment “will deliver clear benefits to residents, while making our neighborhoods safer and stronger,” said LISC Chicago ED Meghan Harte.
LISC is working with Wells Fargo on an effort to spur economic recovery across Puerto Rico. A new grant is supporting LISC’s Kiva Puerto Rico Match Fund to help entrepreneurs launch and grow small businesses, while also helping LISC expand its capacity to support disaster recovery nationwide. It builds on LISC's long experience in communities hit hard by major hurricanes, tornados, floods and fires.
LISC is ramping up its national economic development work with the launch of a new small business lender called immito. “Nothing catalyzes opportunity in a community like new businesses launching and expanding,” said Maurice A. Jones, LISC president and CEO. immito is expected to do $100 million in annual lending and will spark entrpreneurship and growth in communities across the country, especially those where demand for capital access is high.
JP Morgan Chase is teaming up with LISC, Accion and Fifth Third Bank on an investment effort to support the growth of minority-owned businesses on Chicago’s South and West Sides. LISC’s Maurice A. Jones joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, to announce the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund—a model built on the bank’s similar efforts in other cities--as well as related support for small business mentoring. "This work is about catalyzing opportunity so that everyone—no matter their race, or zip code, or family background—has the chance to contribute to Chicago’s prosperity, and to share in its benefits as well,” Jones said.
A new program in Boston offers a blueprint for anchor institutions looking to help improve the economic outlook for nearby communities. Northeastern University has teamed up with LISC on a new Impact Lending small business program that will provide growth capital to entrepreneurs, especially women- and minority-owned businesses in low-income areas, and position them to compete for procurement contracts with the university. LISC officials joined Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and university President Joseph Aoun for the announcement.