Launch of New Chase Lounge at the Russell Center Will Help Fuel Path to Success for Black Business Owners and Entrepreneurs in Atlanta
Investment in groundbreaking hub is part of nearly $2 million in small business-focused investments, driving economic mobility for under-resourced communities in Atlanta
ATLANTA, February 25, 2021 – Chase and the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE), the largest nonprofit center for Black entrepreneurs and small business owners in the nation, today announced the debut of the Chase Lounge at the Russell Center. Located in the heart of Atlanta at 504 Fair St. SW, the Chase Lounge at RICE will foster a high-energy, inclusive community with lab-to-market resources for emerging and progressing business owners that will drive real diversity, inspiration and collaboration among Atlanta’s thought leaders. The Chase Lounge further enhances the innovative, multi-use space RICE provides entrepreneurs and small business owners to gather, learn and advance their financial futures.
“Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of our economy and the most common path to fulfilling the American Dream,” said Mark Adams, Georgia and North Florida Market Director for Chase. “We’re committed to ensuring that more Black entrepreneurs and people of color have access to the resources they need to pursue this dream. Being embedded at RICE – inspired by the legacy of Herman J. Russell – will facilitate authentic, trust building interactions with local entrepreneurs on the path to fulfilling their dreams.”
Chase is among several corporate, foundation and individual partners, including the Ressler Gertz Family Foundation and the Atlanta Hawks, supporting RICE’s commitment to deliver a majority self-sustaining facility with world-class programming that provides a comprehensive space for all aspects of small business enablement. Readily available access to financial consulting and small business education is a core part of building a small business and creating the path to success. The Russell Center recently changed its name to RICE to put more focus on the reason it was built: to serve as Atlanta’s home for Black entrepreneurs. In addition to the name change, RICE’s brand identity refresh encompasses all design assets, including a new website, which will launch soon.
“We want to support and prepare the people and businesses in Atlanta for a brighter future that drives generational economic growth,” said Dominique Wilkins, Vice President of Basketball and Special Advisor to the CEO of the Atlanta Hawks. “The Hawks Foundation is proud to join the Russell Center and Chase in this effort to bring more resources to entrepreneurs in Greater Atlanta.”
To help strengthen the firm’s connection in Atlanta, Chase has added a community manager to the Chase Lounge, who will be responsible for one-on-one engagement and consultation with customers and will also lead the development of programming for entrepreneurs, individuals and students. One such program that’s already in place are monthly Chase Business Banking “Resource Roundtables,” where bankers will host community events to discuss best practices for how to successfully operate a business, while sharing insights about new products, resources and services for entrepreneurs.
“We are proud to partner with JPMorgan Chase in our shared commitment to pursue pathways that expand the possibilities for Black entrepreneurs in Atlanta and across our nation, especially at this critical time amid a global pandemic that has disproportionately impacted Black- and Brown-owned businesses,” said Jay Bailey, CEO and president of RICE. “Access to financial education and advice is a crucial foundational element of business success. We’re excited to debut the Chase Lounge as one of the first elements of our recently remodeled, dynamic space because it will help our business owners monetize their assets and advance in their journey of building generational wealth.”
Atlanta Minority Small Business Grants and Investments
JPMorgan Chase also announced an additional $392,000 in grants to three small business-focused non-profits in Atlanta: Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center, Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs and Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative. In total, since 2017, Chase has invested $1.9 million in Atlanta small business-focused endeavors. Chase’s partnership with the Russell Center goes beyond dollars by giving small business owners the resources they need – like financial consulting and small business education – to begin, grow and succeed.
Advancing Black Pathways
The Chase Lounge stems from the firm’s Advancing Black Pathways strategy, which seeks to strengthen the economic foundation of the Black community through targeted investments in three key areas:
- Financial health & wealth creation
- Education, and
- Careers & entrepreneurship
“Being embedded in the Russell Center will allow us to connect directly with entrepreneurs and small business owners and make a difference in the Atlanta community,” said Byna Elliott, head of Advancing Black Pathways at JPMorgan Chase. “We expect to use the center as our home base for Corporate Responsibility initiatives in the community, but also to build and deepen relationships with consumer, business and commercial banking customers and prospects.”
To learn more about the Chase Lounge at the RICE or to take part in the virtual launch event on February 25 at 2 pm, visit www.jpmorganchase.com/rice.
About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers 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.
About Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs RICE
The Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE) is Atlanta’s home for Black entrepreneurs. RICE’s goal is to be an economic mobility engine for the community: driving entrepreneurs and small business owners to innovate, grow, create jobs and build wealth. RICE was inspired by the legacy of Herman J. Russell, who overcame racism, poverty and a debilitating speech impediment to become one of the most successful Black entrepreneurs and civic leaders in Atlanta. The only initiative of its kind in the nation, RICE will be part business generator, innovation lab and museum. RICE houses over 50,000 sq. ft. of affordable co-working, convening, meeting and innovation space in a LEED Silver Certified building, brought to life by a robust offering of educational, networking, mentoring and capital resources. RICE invests in Black entrepreneurs, strengthens businesses and creates community. For more information about the Center, visit www.rcie.org.