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It's part of Chase Bank's ongoing commitment to small business owners.. Photo: Pixabay.

Chase to hire more than 500 small business bankers

The initiative, which will run until 2024, adds to the ongoing support for small business entrepreneurs in the U.S.

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Recognizing difficult economic conditions marked by high inflation and recession fears, Chase Bank, under JPMorgan Chase & Co., recently announced a new two-year commitment to expand relationships with small businesses and expand access to credit, counseling and education. Part of that effort will be to hire more than 500 bankers to offer support to small businesses.

Ben Walter, CEO of Business Banking at Chase, noted:

Small business owners are facing difficult challenges with persistent inflation, supply chain disruptions, and expense pressure.

A renewed commitment

Through this hiring initiative, the Chase Business Banking workforce will increase by 20%, promoting employees who will help support and grow Chase's 5 million small business customers through financial advice, products deposit, credit and cash management.

The financial institution shared some data from JPMorgan Chase's Business Leaders Outlook 2023, in which it revealed that most small business owners expect a recession this year, and almost all report that inflation has affected their expenses.

Despite these fears, small business optimism remains high, with more than two-thirds expecting higher revenue and sales in the coming year, while 65% anticipate higher profits in 2023.

“We know that banks play a critical role in the long-term success of small businesses and their communities. This investment in our workforce is a testament to our commitment to our clients and our intent to support them through the business cycle,” added Walter.

Support for small entrepreneurs

The new hiring goals build on the following efforts the company has made to support small businesses:

Expanding access to credit — In November 2022, the Chase Bank announced a Special Purpose Credit Program to help expand access to credit in majority Black, Hispanic and Latino communities. The program is the first of its kind to be offered for small business owners nationally who might not otherwise be approved for credit or receive it on less favorable terms.

Chase also launched a new digital loan application so customers can apply for small business credit online – no need to call or visit a branch. The application is expected to be widely available later this year.

Mentorship and advice — Last year, the firm expanded its free one-on-one coaching program by hiring 45 trained senior business consultants in 21 U.S. cities to provide mentoring and advice to Hispanic, Latino and Black business owners on everything from boosting creditworthiness to managing cash flow to effective marketing.

Since launching its mentorship program in 2020, the firm has mentored more than 2,600 business owners, helping them improve their operations, grow revenues, and network with others in the local business community.

New Signature Events — In an effort to better engage small business owners in key U.S. cities and increase access to education and advice, Chase is hosting a series of small business bootcamps, “The Experience,” in Miami, Phoenix and Denver. These all-day events offer local small business owners workshops, expert panels, networking opportunities and live entertainment to celebrate and support local business owners as they market, grow and sustain their business.

Investing in Small Business Tech — The firm continues to invest in business owners and founders in underrepresented communities across the country. As part of JPMorgan Chase’s $10 million, five-year commitment to Tech Equity Miami announced last year, JPMorgan Chase also announced  that it has awarded the first $2 million of that commitment to four Miami-based organizations – including BrainStation, CodePath, Rebrand Cities, and YWCA of South Florida, in partnership with gener8tor.

Hybrid experiences will include web development and auditing services, education on social media strategies, mentoring, and other open source training resources.

“These organizations help remove barriers to entry for people of color in the tech industry by increasing access to technical skills and knowledge among small business owners and job seekers. The hybrid experiences will include web development and audit services, social media strategy education, mentorship and other opensource training resources,” said Chase in a released statement.

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