At a private business luncheon May 21, JPMorgan Chase & Co. chairman and chief executive Jamie Dimon announced a $100 million investment in Detroit non-profit groups and business organizations. Also in attendance were Mayor Mike Duggan, Quicken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert and Governor Rick Snyder, each of whom praised the commitment JPMorgan Chase said they will be making in the city’s future.
According to a JPMorgan Chase press release, the company has “spent the past several months working closely with Detroit’s community and government leaders to learn about their priorities and vision for the city. The investment provides long-term financial and hands-on support for organizations that are working to address the city’s most urgent challenges.”
Dimon said JPMorgan Chase believes in the future of Detroit and that they want to see the city “recover its economic growth.”
Of the $100 million plan, $40 million will be "flexible, long-term debt capital" - money raised by taking out a loan - while $10 million will go to non-profit community developers Invest Detroit and Capital Impact Partners as grants.
The release lays out some of JPMorgan Chase’s plans to tackle blight in the city. The company will provide $25 million to the Detroit Land Bank Authority and the Blight Task Force. The company’s press release says this will “help accelerate the city’s ambitious efforts to end residential blight, restore properties to productive use, and stabilize and revitalize neighborhoods.”
Mayor Duggan was the last person to speak after Gov. Snyder. He said that he was grateful Dimon and his team came in to help the city.
“I never knew working with bankers could be so much fun,” Duggan said. “This team came in, they took the time to understand what we had going on in the neighborhoods, what we had going on in the businesses and we structured this together. I think is a big part of the reason for the very good feelings that we have.”
$12.5 million will be provided to “strengthening workforce readiness” in an effort to improve the relationship between the city’s workforce development efforts and employer needs, and train Detroit residents with the skills employers are looking for in workers.
The company is also providing $7 million to help grow small businesses. Eastern Market Corporation and Bizdom were mentioned as examples of enterprises JPMorgan Chase is looking to help grow.
JP Morgan is investing $5.5 million in the M-1 light rail line as well. The company said it is bringing to Detroit the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project between the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase.
Wayne State President M. Roy Wilson and Vice President for Economic Development Ned Staebler also attended the luncheon to represent the WSU community.
“It’s great for Detroit, it’s a catalyst for further development for the city,” Wilson said.
Duggan said that the announcement was transformational. He said that while $100 million won’t solve all the city's problems, it will certainly help.
“When Jamie Dimon goes on national TV and says ‘we’re not a charity we are a for-profit company, and we are investing 100 million dollars in the city of Detroit because we believe in its future’, it means something to everybody in this country, and I just want to say thank you,” Duggan said.
Gov. Snyder also spoke at the luncheon; he thanked Dimon and his team for the time they will be commitment they will be giving to the city.
“This is something truly special, and we do appreciate it,” Synder said. “Detroit, Michigan is coming back. Sometimes we forget that…the state is coming back; we’re the comeback state. The point is, it’s not good enough. Now is the time we step on the gas.”