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Leading members of the Truist Foundation and the Community First Fund
Back Row Left to Right: Travis Rhodes, Jonathan Bowser, Dragan Dodik, Bill Rogers. Front Row Left to Right: Joan Brodhead, Lynette Bell, Alex Brame. Photo credit: Eliot Olaya/AL DÍA News

Truist Foundation awards $2.25 million to Black and Latino entrepreneurs

The grant goes to the Community First Fund as it opens its new fund supporting Black and Latine business owners.

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On Aug. 25, 2022, the Truist Foundation announced a new $2.25 million grant to the Community First Fund, a non-profit organization that supports low-income communities and individuals across the central and eastern Pennsylvania area, including Philadelphia.

The grant is dedicated towards launching the Community First Fund’s Economic Justice Fund (EJFund), which will lend money to Black and Latine entrepreneurs.

Leaders of both the Truist Foundation and the Community First Fund gathered at the Fund’s Philadelphia location to announce the award and the Community First Fund’s campaign to grow the new fund to $50 million within five years.

“Our mission is to create financial equity... We really are honored that we're kicking off today our economic justice fund,” said Joan M. Brodhead, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Strategic Initiatives Officer of Community First Fund, during the grant announcement event.

“It's going to help more disadvantaged individuals and help them in their journey toward wealth building and financial equity,” she added.

In a statement, Truist Foundation President Lynette Bell noted the organization’s mission and its value. 

“The Truist Foundation supports intermediaries which provide capital at favorable rates and terms for small business owners and individuals in historically excluded communities,” she said.

“The work of Community First Fund provides essential financial and technical assistance to help diverse entrepreneurs scale their businesses across Greater Philadelphia,” she continued.

In the Philadelphia region, the Truist Foundation contributed over half a million dollars in grants alongside its employees completing 4,434 hours of volunteer work across the region in 2021.

The $2.25 million grant is a part of the Truist Foundation’s $120 million commitment to strengthen and support small businesses nationally, emphasizing their efforts on women and diverse business owners.

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