Rolling Out

U.S. Bank visits Los Angeles to continue national support of Black businesses

Corporate leaders tour local businesses

U.S. Bank corporate leaders took two days out of their busy schedules to tour Black and Brown businesses throughout the Los Angeles area to end the month of November during their latest stop in the small-business tour. On Nov. 27, the group toured Destination Crenshaw, which will be America’s largest Black public art project with the help of U.S. Bank. Destination Crenshaw will commission more than 100 works by Black artists who have strong roots in Los Angeles, and it will create jobs and work for young and established artists alike.

On Nov. 28, the group had lunch at Wi Jammin in Inglewood. The restaurant’s executive chef, Courtney Wilson-Gray, has worked with Drake, YG, and Tyler, The Creator. 

After the leaders had lunch, Delphine Pruitt, vice president and business access advisor, spoke with rolling out about the company’s intentionality in supporting Black and Brown businesses.

What are your responsibilities at U.S. Bank?

It’s to engage minority communities to help them grow and sustain their businesses. We do that by providing access to information, connections, capital, and any resources they might need for them to be their best [and] to be successful.

So, U.S. Bank this around the country?

We’re in nine cities now, and we’re going to be expanding. We focus on minority businesses; it might be now I’m engaging with the Black community — then, we’re going to have someone engaging with the Hispanic community and others. We are in nine cities: Chicago; Charlotte, [North Carolina];  Colorado Springs, [Colorado]; Denver; Little Rock, Arkansas; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; Oakland, [California]; and St. Paul, Minnesota. We always tell people to go to the U.S. Bank website and go to business access, and a list of every business access advisor in your market will show up. That’s the best way to reach us, and the work we do is very fulfilling for me because we have an opportunity to help people who want to start a business or grow their business and connect them with the resources they need.

What was your childhood like?

I grew up in a family of advocates and entrepreneurs, so I understand their plight and challenges. My parents were entrepreneurs, some of my brothers were entrepreneurs, and I used to be an entrepreneur. I grew up in a family [of] advocates. My family spent a lot of time in the community. As a child, I participated in a lot of community meetings with my mother, [and] some of my friends’ parents were elected officials, so we got involved early on and understood that process.

For me, it’s all about empowering and lifting the voices of the voiceless. Doing that in these underrepresented communities is my passion. [There are] a lot of talented individuals here, a lot of very good business ideas, very good businesses, but sometimes they just need a little help. And we’re here to help them get over that hump.

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