|To our esteemed community partners:
Thank you for your leadership in our community, especially your continued focus on the wellbeing of people in our community. As the summer comes to a close, I wanted to share updates with you about Bank of America’s efforts in the North Bay to help alleviate hardships, support basic needs, and advance racial equality and economic opportunity.
The health and safety of our employees, clients, and people in our community remain our top priority during this health and humanitarian crisis. One of the ways we continue to demonstrate our support is by working with local partners to identify and distribute personal protective equipment masks to the most vulnerable populations. Here in the North Bay we’re partnering with Downtown Streets, La Luz Center, the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, and Redwood Empire Food Bank to provide over 160,000 masks to those who need it most. This is just one example of how we are supporting local community organizations. Since the beginning of the year, we have provided more than $600,000 in philanthropic support to non-profits in our local market. Grant recipients include Community Action Marin, ExtraFood.org, Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, Petaluma Ecumenical Properties, Community Action of Napa Valley, La Luz, San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, and Redwood Empire Food Bank.
In addition, as of the end of June, we have processed approximately 1.8 million payment deferral requests across credit card, auto, mortgage and home equity, and small business loans through our Client Assistance Program, of which approximately 1.7 million are still in place. We’re also helping small businesses access government loans provided through the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program. Nationally, we have helped small business access more funds than any other bank. Here locally, we have helped more than 2,030 small businesses access $162 million in funding. We are proud that nearly 80% of the small businesses we have helped have fewer than 10 employees.
Finally, we know the coronavirus has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color, magnifying underlying racial and economic inequalities. Bank of America’s four-year, $1 billion commitment to help drive racial equality and economic opportunity will help us address these inequalities in the North Bay, including affordable housing, job training/reskilling, support to small business and health care. We recently announced our initial progress towards our $1 billion commitment by allocating one-third, or $300 million to four key areas across 91 U.S. markets and globally: $25 million in support of jobs initiatives in Black and Hispanic/Latino communities, $25 million in support of community outreach and initiatives, $50 million in direct equity investments to Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), and $200 million of proprietary equity investments in minority entrepreneurs, businesses and funds. You can read more about our announcement here.
Bank of America is committed to the North Bay and this region, and we will continue to work with our clients, our non-profit partners, and local leaders to help create the conditions for fair and equal access to economic opportunity. I thank you again for your hard work and look forward to our continued partnership.