Yet another St. Louis bank invests in small businesses, low-income neighborhoods

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From the St. Louis Business Journal

J.P Morgan Chase is investing $200,000 in a loan fund for small businesses operated by Justine Petersen, a St. Louis nonprofit business micro-lender. It’s the latest in a series of investments by local banks in poorer neighborhoods.

Pamela Blair, who owns EyeSeeMe African American Children’s Bookstore with her husband, said, “These types of services for small businesses are in dire need, especially for those businesses operating in neighborhoods that are economically challenged.”

“Small businesses are the cornerstones of local communities, creating jobs and spurring innovation,” said Rich Ryffel, Missouri market manager for J.P. Morgan Private Bank. “We proudly support Justine Petersen‘s’s impactful work to strengthen these entrepreneurs and improve the overall financial health of St. Louis neighborhoods.”

Chase is opening two bank branches, in Kirkwood and Brentwood, its first in St. Louis, and recently hired Donny Carver, formerly district manager for U.S. Bank, as market director of banking in Missouri.

Other banks that have invested in Justine Petersen this year include:

  • U.S. Bank invested $2.6 million in an $8 million small-business loan fund targeting small businesses located in economically distressed urban neighborhoods and rural areas in Missouri and Illinois.
  • First Bank invested $500,000 for loans in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods of eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois. It also is opening a branch in Ferguson in a partnership with the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.