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JPMorgan Chase announced a new $30 billion commitment over the next 5 years to advance racial equity, especially for Black and Latinx Americans.

Why it’s important: Systemic racism has contributed to low and lost wages, rising costs of homeownership and barriers to small business creation, which have stunted economic opportunity for Black and Latinx communities in America – and COVID-19 has only made things worse.

What JPMorgan Chase is saying:

"We can do more and do better to break down systems that have propagated racism and widespread economic inequality, especially for Black and Latinx people.”

– JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon

The firm will harness its expertise in business, policy and philanthropy to provide economic opportunity to underserved communities, especially the Black and Latinx communities.

Building on existing efforts, the company’s commitment is focusing on 4 areas to help break down barriers of systemic racism and drive an inclusive recovery.

Promoting affordable housing and homeownership for underserved communities.

The challenge: Homeownership rates are 25% lower for Black and Latinx families than white families. Additionally, their households are more likely to be cost-burdened than white households.

JPMorgan Chase will take actions to increase equity and access by:

Expanding financing to preserve affordable rents

Increasing down payment and closing cost assistance funds for purchased and refinanced loans, and increasing availability of affordable lending products.

Advocating for comprehensive housing policy reforms to increase access to homeownership.

Increasing funding for the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households by $2 billion.

The plan:

Finance 100,000 additional affordable rental units in underserved communities.

Originate 40,000 new home purchase loans for Black and Latinx households.

Help additional 20,000 Black and Latinx families achieve lower mortgage payments.

Growing Black- and Latinx-owned businesses.

The challenge: Minority small business owners face barriers to grow and scale their businesses.

Key number: Black people represent nearly 13% of the U.S. population but only 4.3% of the country’s small business owners.

JPMorgan Chase will deliver $2 billion in loans to Black and Latinx communities and support their small businesses by:

Providing an additional 15,000 loans to small businesses in majority – Black and -Latinx communities.

Helping minority entrepreneurs access 1:1 coaching, technical assistance and capital.

Accelerating a digital lending product to better support the needs of small Black- and Latinx-owned businesses seeking quick access to capital.

Advocating for SBA reforms and new aid for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Improving financial health in Black and Latinx communities.

The challenge: The racial disparities in the financial health of Black and Latinx households make it harder for them to achieve financial stability, meet long-term goals and build wealth.

Black and Latinx families have 32 and 47 cents in liquid assets for every $1 held by white families.

JPMorgan Chase will take action to help one million people open new low-cost checking or saving accounts and reach their financial goals. Additionally, the firm will:

Hire 150 community managers and opening new Community Center branches in underserved communities.

Engage and enroll new customers in money management tools.

Support Black and Latinx-led financial institutions with up to $50 million in capital and deposits.

Advocate for federal policy on wealth building and savings so that traditional employment benefits are tied to workers.

Building a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

The opportunity: Young workers feel that most business leaders are not truly committed to creating an inclusive culture, according to research.

"We have a responsibility to intentionally drive economic inclusion for people that have been left behind… This moment is a catalyst to create change and build an economy that creates and sustains opportunity and racial equity for Black and Latinx communities.”

– JPMorgan Chase Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion Brian Lamb

JPMorgan Chase has committed to building a more equitable and representative workforce, and support solutions and job training to advance racial equity in the workforce, including:

Recruit, retain and develop diverse talent across all levels of the Firm

Providing new financial coaching services for all U.S. employees to further invest in their own financial well-being.

Investing in early-stage companies developing innovative models that create more opportunities in underserved communities.

Key numbers:

Businesses with diverse leadership generate 19% more revenue than non-diverse companies.

Diversity also helps reduce turnover, with nearly 70% of millennials reporting they would continue to work at a company for over five years if it’s diverse.

Read more.

Go deeper

Axios roundtable on global financial inclusion

On Friday, February 5 Axios' Dan Primack and Aja Whitaker-Moore hosted a virtual roundtable featuring policymakers, business innovators, and experts to discuss a widening divide in economic opportunity globally, uneven access to digital technology, and the realities of systemic racism.

Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Europe, Visa Charlotte Hogg, discussed how the pandemic has made digital inclusion inextricable from financial inclusion.

  • "Whether it's individuals or businesses and all parts of the economy, if you are digitally excluded in this pandemic, you are truly excluded...if you want an inclusive recovery, you want a recovery that attracts all forms of skill sets and enables jobs. You need to think about the digitization of small businesses."

St. Paul, Minnesota Mayor Melvin Carter unpacked how financial barriers to even accessing financial services in a critical obstacle for members of the community.

  • "We have people in our community who spend a tenth of their income every month just accessing financial services. That's a challenge for us. We have people who don't know or don't think that they earn enough money to even file for their federal income tax, so they lose collectively millions of dollars on the earned income tax credits that they are entitled to."

Mahesh Uttamchandani, the Practice Manager for SME Access to Finance and Credit Infrastructures, Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation at the World Bank highlighted how mobile money is an effective bridge for people who are unbanked to access to financial services.

  • "We have found that there are some real game-changers that you can do from a policy perspective to enable [financial inclusion], particularly around enabling the use of mobile money, which for many people in developing countries is the gateway access to some kind of financial service."

President and CEO at Women's World Banking Mary Ellen Iskenderian discussed the effect of gender disparities in access to technology on financial inclusion and successful case studies in closing gender gaps in finance.

  • "Inclusion and digital are so closely linked [and] women are at a disadvantage in access to the actual technology...We also know that trust is a huge barrier for people to really enter the financial system, to really embrace financial services. How do we make sure that as we move to more of technological use, that [people] still feel a sense of trust?"

Managing Director at Cleo Capital Sarah Kunst discussed the need to prioritize access to livable wages instead of focusing exclusively on financial literacy.

  • "On the day-to-day, education doesn't get you more money. It's having a higher minimum wage. It's being paid more fairly. It's being able to schedule basic things like which hours you're working so that you can have a second job and you can bring in a little bit more income. And I think a lot of those are policy-driven".

Sarah Rosen Wartell, President of the Urban Institute, discussed how racial equity is not a separate policy issue, but rather a facet of all policy, from housing to finance to health care.

  • "We've got to think about race explicitly in all of this. So many of the things that leave black families in America with so little wealth are the creation of intentional choices and policies we've made."

Thank you Visa for sponsoring this event.

Doctors call on Minnesota to end "color-blind" COVID vaccinations

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Hundreds of doctors and health providers are urging top state officials to add "a heavy dose of racial and health equity" to Minnesota's vaccine rollout to better prioritize communities of color.

The big picture: Data from across the country shows people of color are being vaccinated at lower rates than white people, despite being disproportionately hit by COVID-19 and its devastating effects.

33 seconds ago - Health

CDC: Vaccinated people should get tested after exposure even if they show no symptoms

A person gets a COVID-19 test outside The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revised its COVID-19 testing guidance for fully vaccinated people, recommending tests after exposure even if they don't show any symptoms.

Flashback: The agency previously said that fully vaccinated people did not need tests after coming into contact with an infected person unless they experienced symptoms.