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JPMorgan Chase & Co. Commits $500,000 to Help New Orleanians Cope with Economic Challenges of COVID-19 Crisis


May 27, 2020

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. Commits $500,000 to Help New Orleanians Cope with Economic Challenges of COVID-19 Crisis

NEW ORLEANS – JPMorgan Chase & Co. has committed $500,000 for immediate relief to small businesses in New Orleans hit the hardest by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The COVID-19 crisis and the collapse of oil prices pose a dire threat to local small businesses, especially minority-owned enterprises that too often have less capital and fewer resources to carry them through lean times. The $500,000 philanthropic investment will fund relief efforts by the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), which will work in partnershipwith a CDFI Growth Capital Consortium that includes:

NewCorp, Inc.
TruFund Financial

The CDFI Consortium is an integral part of InvestNOLA , the New Orleans implementation of the JPMorgan Chase national initiative, Ascend . The program works with high growth-potential businesses owned by people of color with minimum annual revenues of $1 million with the goal of helping them scale to $10 million within five years. 

“It is critical we support our local small businesses in this time of crisis,” said Katie LeGardeur, Louisiana Market Leader for JPMorgan Chase. “We are proud to leverage the national Ascend framework to reach the businesses that need it most. JPMorgan Chase has a long history in New Orleans and a standing commitment to supporting our employees, customers, and community.”

InvestNOLA has developed an ecosystem of advanced resources aligned with Ascend’s 3M approach: management training, market opportunities, and access to money. NOLABA leads the effort and works with three local community development financial institutions, two local universities and private and public sector partners.

“COVID-19 has amplified many of the longstanding economic challenges faced by entrepreneurs of color; challenges that candidly pose a dire threat to all businesses,” said NOLABA President & CEO Quentin L. Messer, Jr. “In this moment of crisis, we are pleased to partner again with JPMorgan Chase as we provide support to businesses who need it most. Assisting these businesses helps to create wealth for entrepreneurs and employees alike, enhancing the economic security of all New Orleanians. As a public-private economic development organization, we are continually striving to develop resources that address areas of economic disparity and inequity.”

Since 1995, NewCorp has been on the front lines of delivering culturally sensitive financial products and services to the underserved small businesses of Greater New Orleans. As the city’s only locally-based non-profit CDFI, it has first-hand disaster relief experience after hurricanes in 2005 and floods in 2016. The local small business community has never faced the uncertainty of a global virus pandemic, said Vaughn Fauria, Executive Director/President, NewCorp, Inc. 

“JPMorgan Chase has taken a hands-on, aggressive approach to solving chronic business challenges that have been laid bare by COVID-19. This commitment to the city of New Orleans will provide access to capital to support business sustainability and recovery, interactive technologies, and advisory services designed to help small businesses to thrive in the new economy,” Fauria said . “JPMorgan Chase is a great community partner and supporter of local CDFIs like NewCorp. Together, we will overcome this challenge and become a stronger and more resilient community.”

TruFund Financial, whose mission is to stimulate economic development in underserved communities by providing innovative financial solutions and hands-on technical assistance, has directly responded to the aftermaths of Louisiana disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill, and the 2016 floods. 

“The economic impact of the novel coronavirus will be unparalleled for all small businesses, but for disadvantaged minority and/or women-owned businesses the adverse impact will be disproportionate,” said James H. Bason, President & CEO TruFund Financial Services, Inc. “The Ascend New Orleans partnership will help these disadvantaged business owners and bridge the gap to other available resources. This initiative will give small business owners a fighting chance to maintain operations during this uncertain time.”

 “Small business success starts with opportunity and belief. At LiftFund, we provide access to capital, business education and financial insights, so individuals can build wealth through entrepreneurship,” said Janie Barrera, President & CEO of LiftFund. “We are proud to partner with the New Orleans Business Alliance, JPMorgan Chase and other CDFIs in our community to reach our mutual goal of lifting minority entrepreneurs to prosperity.” The organization is currently serving businesses through its COVID-19 Relief Fund.

In 2019, NOLABA partnered with JPMorgan Chase to launch a new program designed to help grow local small businesses owned by people of color to $10 million enterprises. InvestNOLA is the local version of the national small business growth program, Ascend, and was funded by a $500,000 investment from JPMorgan Chase & Co.  
The program is designed to accelerate scale in high-growth potential businesses by connecting them to public- and private-sector opportunities, innovative capital products and advanced business-management education developed by Tulane and Xavier Universities.


About the New Orleans Business Alliance
One of fewer than 80 Accredited Economic Development Organizations worldwide, the New Orleans Business Alliance is the official public-private partnership created to increase economic gains for the city of New Orleans. Through a direct partnership with the City of New Orleans and strong connectivity with the business community, the New Orleans Business Alliance works to ensure the economic security of all New Orleanians by diversifying the local economy, developing local talent, and expanding entrepreneurial opportunity. Through an inclusive economic development strategy, we will create a more equitable and prosperous future for all. Learn more at www.nolaba.org .


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