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JPMorgan Chase Fuels Business Nonprofits With Investment

The investment was part of its Small Business Forward program


JPMorgan Chase today invested $630,000 to three Colorado nonprofit organizations that are supporting Denver’s underserved entrepreneurs and small business community. The investment was part of this week’s Denver Startup Week, of which JP Morgan Chase is a title sponsor.

The Commons on Champa, DreamSpring and Mi Casa Resource Center were the three nonprofits to receive investments.

These investments are part of the firm’s $150 million Small Business Forward program, which supports women, minority- and veteran-owned small businesses to build their long term success, creating local, inclusive economic growth.

“Underserved entrepreneurs face challenges getting the training, access to capital, and other support they need to sustain and advance their businesses,” says Monica Skok, managing director and regional manager for the commercial bank for JPMorgan Chase in Colorado. “With small businesses growing fastest among people of color, particularly Latinas and African American women, it’s essential to help them get started and grow. When small businesses succeed, our communities and neighborhoods succeed.”

Since the program began in 2013, JPMorgan Chase has invested more than $2 million in local nonprofit organizations that are supporting entrepreneurs. In 2018, the firm contributed more than $2.3 million to nonprofits including those that provide community services for workforce development, small business development and neighborhood development.

This year’s investments to the three nonprofits will help each of the nonprofits expand their reach and improve certain programming.

“Organizations like Mi Casa, The Commons on Champa and DreamSpring have a proven track record of strong programs designed to assist underserved entrepreneurs,” Skok says. “They have demonstrated that they can provide training, access to capital, technical assistance, mentoring and other services uniquely designed to help underserved entrepreneurs sustain and advance their businesses.”

From Left to Right: Gwen Bonilla and Kevin Williams, loan officers and client ambassadors at DreamSpring; Monique Lovato, CEO of Mi Casa Resource Center; Sharon Alton, VP of downtown experience at the Downtown Denver Partnership, representing The Commons on Champa; Monica Skok, managing director and region manager for JPMorgan Chase Commercial Bank in Colorado; and Chris Jensen, managing director and senior executive for greater west segment at JPMorgan Chase Commercial Bank in Colorado.

For The Commons on Champa, which received a $180,000 investment, the organization plans to expand a number of its programs. This includes its Entrepreneurial Journey program,which includes a 9-week accelerator program, cohort-based training, mentorship, technical assistance and resource navigation; its Navigator Alliance program, which helps partners improve how underserved entrepreneurs navigate resources; and its Community Neighborhood program and mobile app, which provides entrepreneurs with small business resources and support where they live.

Dreamspring, which received a $225,000 investment, is an organization that provides underserved entrepreneurs with access to capital and business support services. With the funds, it is hoping to expand its reach, deploying 644 loans totaling $9.89 million to 612 entrepreneurs across Colorado, leading to 1,530 jobs being created or sustained over an 18-month period.

Another $225,000 investment was given to Mi Casa Resource Center, an educational resource and accelerator center for underserved entrepreneurs. With the investment, the nonprofit plans to expand its services along the Colfax corridor. Some of its services include workshops on accounting, technology, legal support and more; one-on-one business consulting; a 15-week course in spanish which helps entrepreneurs build a business plan; and a mobile food business accelerator program.

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Ali Longwell

Ali Longwell is the digital editor at ColoradoBiz. She has also written for SDxCentral, a B2B online technology publication, as well as Denver-area lifestyle magazines 5280, Denver Life Magazine, Avid Lifestyle and more. She can be reached at alongwell@cobizmag.com

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