Citizens Bank announced that it has awarded 100 grants of $15,000 each totaling $1.5 million to minority-owned small businesses across its service areas as part of its previously announced $10 million investment to help drive social equity and economic advancement in underserved communities across its footprint.
Through a short essay, applicants shared insight on how they would use the grant to both strengthen and sustain their business and help their community.
The program also includes an opportunity to partner with SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors. For recipients who opt in, SCORE will match the business with a mentor to help build and sustain success.
“Citizens is highly committed to helping promote social equity and drive economic advancement in underserved communities and this is one of several ways we are bringing that commitment to life,” said Jack Murphy, president of Citizens Business Banking. “The interest we witnessed from across our business footprint was overwhelming, and we are confident that our recipients will play a continuing vital role in strengthening the communities they serve.”
Our Community Counseling LLC of Woodbridge was one of the recipients of the Citizens Bank Minority-Owned Small Business Grants.
Other elements of Citizens’ social equity commitment include initiatives for financing small business and housing, as well as other development in minority communities through economic opportunity funds and investment in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit projects. Citizens is also committed to supporting underserved communities through ongoing technology, education and digital literacy initiatives. Additionally, Citizens will direct grants to nonprofit organizations, provide matches for colleague contributions to social equity organizations, and work in partnership with national organizations to fund digital literacy programs aimed at eliminating the digital divide.