“My career in banking began in Atlanta over 20 years ago. I am glad to work with JPMorgan Chase with the responsibility is looking at how to spur minority business development, how do we make capital accessible and how do we do it sustainably?” offers JPMorgan Chase & Co. national partnerships executive and corporate responsibility manager Rodney Hood.
“A lot of the work we do at JPMorgan Chase is to make sure we are finding opportunities for entrepreneurs to work with our business bankers, to learn about products that we have via SBA loans. We have over 4 million small business customers. As we build out that particular portfolio, we have worked very diligently to serve minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses. I am proud that we were recently recognized for the third year in a row as the SBA largest lender to minority or African American-owned and to women-owned businesses,” he continues at the 2016 HOPE Global Forums during the “The Minority & Women Business Challenge: Creating Sustainable Growth” working group session which was held at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016.
Hood works in the office of Nonprofit Engagement where he manages relationships with national organizations that assist the bank in strengthening communities, spurring small business development and providing community development, financial capability and affordable housing.
To a room overflowing with women, Black and white, and men and millennials, he offers hope. “We look at small business lending differently than ever. We have gone from business banking to Chase for business. Why? We believe that when small businesses come to us looking for loans and for guidance, there is more to us building a relationship with small businesses than just giving a loan. We’re looking at business holistically. Maybe you want to look at us for credit card systems. How are looking at cash-flow analysis? We are looking at the needs of the small business community holistically.”
The attendees shared one common goal, to create and sustain jobs and businesses, as was evidenced following a 30-minute work session among the more than 20 groups.
“I look at the glass half full; I look at opportunities. Opportunities that we are seeing at JPMorgan Chase for minority-owned businesses, in partnership with the Detroit Development Fund, we have launched a $6.5 million fund for African American business to have access to in the city of Detroit. It’s part of our commitment to help Detroit reach its full potential once again. Another fund that we just announced for those living in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, with the Valley Economic Development Center to create a $3.5 million loan fund to help minority-owned businesses have access to capital. These are some of the innovative approaches we are taking in addition to our home loan portfolio. We are partnering with other groups that are working with minority-owned businesses. Another piece that we do that I manage under my corporate responsibility hat, whether it is the Black Chamber, Asian Chamber or Hispanic Chamber [of Commerce], I manage [the relationships] nationally and make sure our partners work with them locally. I encourage everyone to join them. They are tools for access, information and networking.”