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$1.5M grant aims to support minority-owned businesses, community revitalization in Baltimore

Baltimore, (Qnnflash) – The Truist Foundation recently announced a substantial $1.5 million grant to Urban Strategies, a national nonprofit focused on human capital development in revitalizing communities. The grant will enable the launch of a small business loan fund to support Black- and minority-owned businesses in Baltimore and other cities along the Eastern Seaboard, including Norfolk, Virginia, and Fort Myers, Florida.

Urban Strategies plans to expand its community development financial institution (CDFI) using the funding provided. This initiative aims to provide a pathway to capital and wealth creation for women-, Black-, Latinx-, and Indigenous-owned small businesses. The average loan size will be $250,000, allowing businesses to gain access to much-needed financial resources.

Esther Shin, CEO of Urban Strategies, emphasized the nonprofit’s commitment to address the challenges faced by underserved families and narrow the wealth gap. The Truist Foundation’s partnership empowers Urban Strategies’ CDFI to grow and support more small businesses within underserved communities. The organization aims to foster generational wealth and combat wealth inequalities while offering wrap-around services to assist small business owners.

Lynette Bell, President of Truist Foundation, values partnerships with CDFIs for their understanding of the complex ecosystems for small businesses. CDFIs emphasize building resilience and equipping businesses with the skills and resources to sustain growth despite economic disruptions and challenges.

The grant will also enable the nonprofit to establish an equitable loan fund and application system for historically excluded communities, providing financial technical assistance for training efforts. Urban Strategies seeks to empower underserved communities with credit, knowledge, and tools to grow and sustain their businesses while contributing to community revitalization.

Urban Strategies’ CDFI has been operational for a few years, primarily focusing on construction businesses due to the obstacles faced by small business owners of color entering the space. However, the company is now expanding to address other businesses based on community needs.

Urban Strategies’ close relationship and deep understanding of the communities they serve played a significant role in the Truist Foundation’s decision to collaborate with the nonprofit. Shin’s personal background as an immigrant and child of small business owners further reinforces the organization’s commitment to supporting businesses and fostering economic growth.

The success of the CDFI is measured by businesses’ ability to meet individual goals and stand independently while positively impacting neighborhood and community growth. Small businesses act as anchors for creating economic success on both individual and community levels, bringing economic liberation and changing the wealth trajectory for minority communities.

About USI CDFI

The USI Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Certification is a notable designation conferred by the CDFI Fund to specialized organizations focused on providing financial services in low-income communities and to individuals facing barriers to financing. As a dedicated community-based CDFI, USI CDFI ensures equitable access to affordable financial products and services in underserved areas. These CDFIs play a crucial role in serving market niches often overlooked by traditional financial institutions, empowering communities and fostering financial inclusion for those who need it most.

About Truist Foundation

The Truist Foundation upholds Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) mission to inspire and enhance lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation strategically invests in nonprofit organizations to create greater opportunities for improved quality of life in the communities it serves. Truist Foundation’s grants and initiatives are centered around constructing career pathways to economic mobility and bolstering small businesses, aiming to uplift individuals and foster thriving communities.

SOURCE Truist Foundation

For further information: Media Contact: Kristen Fraser, Truist, media@truist.com

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