Bank of America announced June 2 that it is making a $1 billion, four-year commitment of additional support to help local communities address economic and racial inequality accelerated by a global pandemic.
The programs will be focused on assisting people and communities of color that have experienced a greater impact from the health crisis, the bank said in the announcement.
“Underlying economic and social disparities that exist have accelerated and intensified during the global pandemic,” said CEO Brian Moynihan. “The events of the past week have created a sense of true urgency that has arisen across our nation, particularly in view of the racial injustices we have seen in the communities where we work and live. We all need to do more.”
The bank said the work builds on economic mobility and workforce development programs Bank of America already supports in local markets, but will sharpen the focus of that work, accelerate the resources, and add a particular emphasis on health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcement is aligned with the company’s commitment to responsible growth for clients, shareholders, employees and communities, the company said:
Areas of focus will be:
• Support to Small Businesses
The programs will be executed through the company’s 90 local U.S. market presidents and non-U.S. country executives to help develop the opportunities to execute on these commitments in areas that include:
• Virus testing, telemedicine, flu vaccination clinics, and other health services, with a special focus on communities of color.
• Partnerships with historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions in the United States for hiring, research programs, and other areas of mutual opportunity.
• Support to minority-owned small businesses, including clients and vendors.
• Career reskilling/upskilling through partnerships with high schools and community colleges.
• Operating support and investment for affordable housing/neighborhood revitalization, leveraging our nearly $5 billion in Community Development Banking.
• Further recruitment and retention of teammates in low-to-moderate-income and disadvantaged communities to build on work the company has already done to serve clients locally.
This work builds on steps the company has already taken, including an additional $100 million to support its nonprofit partners across its communities, and $250 million to assist with lending to the smallest and minority-owned businesses through its support to community development financial and minority depository institutions, the announcement said.