BMO continues to deliver on BMO EMpower 2.0, the bank’s more than $40 billion community benefits plan, by announcing a $5 million investment in strategic partnerships to help community organizations throughout its U.S. footprint. To help support local communities, these grants will be directed towards housing counseling agencies, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), and other non-profits that support and preserve affordable homeownership and provide support for small businesses. Approximately $2 million will be targeted for the State of California.
“Investments like these are at the core of our Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life,” says Kimberley Goode, chief communications and social impact officer, BMO. “These grants will strategically support vital community organizations to increase minority homeownership, drive the development of affordable housing and support the growth of small businesses to help the communities we serve achieve real financial progress.”
$3 million to advance homeownership
A $3 million commitment over two years will drive progress towards addressing the racial wealth gap and advance homeownership for low income and minority communities. Grants will strategically support non-profit organizations, housing agencies and trusted community organizations to increase minority homeownership, drive the development of affordable housing, and help families achieve financial progress.
As part of the $3 million commitment, BMO is developing strategic partnerships with more than 60 organizations across its footprint, including with national organizations such as the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), a network of Black real estate professionals, along with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) and the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), supporting minority homeownership within the Hispanic and Asian communities, respectively.
“Our partnership with BMO seeks to create homeownership opportunities for young adults that establish a solid understanding and promotion of financial growth as they begin their adult lives,” says Courtney Jones, third vice president, NAREB.
Key partners also include local affiliates from the National Urban League as well as numerous local, non-profit, and community partners to help increase minority homeownership and close the racial wealth gap.
“We’re dedicated to economic empowerment that elevates the standard of living for underserved communities and we share this vision with BMO,” said Marc H. Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League. “Bringing access to these communities to achieve homeownership promotes long term financial success and the opportunity to build wealth for future generations.”
Funds will be distributed throughout our expanded footprint including Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, and San Francisco.
$2 million to grow small businesses
BMO’s $2 million commitment over two years will help fuel growth for small businesses by providing better access to capital, educational resources, and meaningful networking opportunities. The commitment will equip business owners with the tools needed to help make their businesses be more resilient and scalable. This includes:
Access to capital: Increasing business owner access to capital through expanded credit criteria and competitive interest rates for credit up to $50,000.
Access to education: Increasing financial and business education for business owners through practical tools, templates, webinars, and coaching.
Access to partnerships: Providing business owners with meaningful networks, additional coaching, educational resources, and alternative funding sources.
BMO is committed to offering comprehensive business programs specifically designed for Women, Black, Latinx, and Native-owned business owners in communities the bank serves. BMO’s Black and Latinx Small Business Program, which provides minority-business owners better access to capital, educational resources, and meaningful networking opportunities, will be available for customers in the bank’s expanded footprint later this year.
Partnering with these organizations enables the progress BMO is making for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society, by increasing access to capital and supporting a more inclusive economic recovery for minority businesses, communities, and families across BMO’s footprint.
The $5 million commitment reinforces BMO’s focus on increasing home ownership and supporting the growth of small businesses in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods and communities of color.