Chase Increases Small Business Lending in California by Nearly 140%

Chase helped fuel the ongoing economic recovery in California by lending over $2 billion to 44,119 small businesses in the state last year.

That is a 139 percent increase over the bank’s 2009 lending to California businesses with annual revenue of less than $20 million. California is Chase’s #1 state for small-business lending growth.

“We made a concerted effort to dramatically increase our small business lending in 2010, and it is paying off for our customers across California,” said Sue Baaden, head of Chase Business Banking in California. “Business owners here have become more optimistic and are using Chase loans to generate growth for our state’s economy.”

Chase ranked #1 in the number of Small Business Administration loans made across the United States in 2010 and #2 across California.

Small businesses are the cornerstone of the California – and U.S. -- economy. Because they play such a pivotal role in the economy, Chase has launched a number of initiatives to support small businesses. The initiatives include:

  • Increasing small business lending nationwide by 40 percent to more than $10 billion in 2010. That helped nearly 275,000 businesses with annual sales of less than $20 million by providing working capital, term loans for expansion, commercial mortgages, lines of credit, and business credit cards.
  • Hiring more than 500 Business Bankers nationwide over a 14-month period.
  • Creating a second-look program to examine all possible ways to provide credit if the loan was declined. The bank approved $283 million in second-look loans.
  • Launching its innovative Loan for Hire program, which offered small businesses the opportunity to lower the interest rate on a new Chase Business Line of Credit by 0.5 percentage point for each new hire, up to three, for the life of the loan. Current promotions include reducing closing costs on loans for owner-occupied real estate by 50%, up to $5,000.
  • Announcing $25 million in grants to community-based financial institutions that lend to persons and businesses in low-income and underserved markets. That included a $5 million grant to Los Angeles-based Valley Economic Development Corporation and a $3M grant to San Francisco Bay Area-based Opportunity Fund, two of the state’s largest micro lenders.

“This is by far the largest cash gift we have ever received, and we are tremendously grateful to Chase for its support,” said Eric Weaver, founder and CEO of Opportunity Fund. “By funding thousands of local businesses, the program will boost an additional $15 million into the local economy as these loans generate spending, wages and tax revenue,” Weaver said.

“The $5 million grant will help VEDC launch a statewide small business lending program – the Chase Small Business California Loan Program – that could generate $50 million in new loan capital over the next three years,” said Roberto Barragan, President of VEDC. “VEDC plans to make direct loans to 200 businesses that could create at least 2,000 jobs in the state.”

Chase provides branch banking services, online and mobile banking, investments, credit cards, and mortgages and other loans to 14.5 million consumers and small businesses in the state. The company employs more than 18,500 people in the state and plans to invest $10 million through grants to California non-profits in 2011.

About Chase

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.1 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

Contacts:

JPMorgan Chase
Northern California:
Eileen Leveckis
415- 315-7930 (o)
415-271-5474 (c)
eileen.leveckis@jpmchase.com
or
JPMorgan Chase
Southern California:
Gary Kishner
818-775-3670 (o)
818-638-8302 (c)
gary.kishner@jpmchase.com

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