JPMorgan Chase’s $500,000 investment helps Upstate Capital Connect drive WNY small business growth

On April 30, 2019, in partnership with JPMorgan Chase, four Buffalo-based Community Development Financial Institutions launched Upstate Capital Connect at the Beverly Gray Business Exchange Center, 334 E. Utica St., Buffalo. Upstate Capital Connect will help fuel small business growth by making it easier for small-business Buffalo and Rochester entrepreneurs to have access to capital.

The $500,000 JPMorgan Chase investment is part of the firm’s $150 million, five-year commitment to supporting the success of minority-, women-, and veteran-run small businesses. Upstate Capital Connect will connect local business owners seeking loans, capital investments, or advice with the right organization that will best help them achieve their financing and growth goals.

This program was developed in collaboration with Excelsior Growth Fund, Launch NY, PathStone Enterprise Center, and Westminster Economic Development Initiative.

“At JPMorgan Chase, we focus relentlessly on not just taking care of our clients, but the communities we serve,” said Bob McArdle, commercial bank executive director of Western New York. “Small-business creation is a critical economic driver, and this program will help us connect aspiring and established businesses to capital. I am very excited about the impact this network will have on the growth of women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses across Buffalo and Rochester.”

“This is more good news for Buffalo small-business owners and entrepreneurs who play a critical role in our improved economy,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. “As we prepare to celebrate Small Business Week, beginning May 5, I applaud JPMorgan Chase for supporting the success of minority-, women-, and veteran-run small businesses.”

“Creating a one-stop online resource for entrepreneurs to connect to capital is an important step toward creating equal access to funding, and we are grateful to JPMorgan Chase for their support in making this possible,” said Hubert Van Tol, president, PathStone Enterprise Center.

As part of the program, the CDFIs also provide one-on-one mentoring and assistance to help the entrepreneurs through the application and funding process.

“Launch NY is proud to be a partner in Upstate Capital Connect and provide opportunities for high-growth potential entrepreneurs to access equity funding to grow their businesses and create economic prosperity for our local economy. As the most active seed fund in New York state, we understand how important access to early stage funding is to our region’s most promising entrepreneurs,” said Marnie LaVigne, president & CEO, Launch NY.

“We are grateful for JPMorgan Chase’s support, which is enabling us to scale access to small-business financing and resources in Western New York,” said Steve Cohen, president of Excelsior Growth Fund. “Excelsior Growth Fund stands ready to support small-business owners seeking the loans and training they need to start or grow successful businesses.”

“Funders like JPMorgan Chase make it possible to create partnerships like Upstate Capital Connect,” said Carolynn Welch, interim executive director, Westminster Economic Development Initiative. “Through the West Side Bazaar and its business support programming, including microlending, WEDI has established strong relationships across the community. We are excited to be working with our local CDFI partners to provide access to funding for all entrepreneurs in Western New York.”

To learn how your startup or business can access mentoring and capital to start, grow, or build your business visit to get connected today.

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