Merrill Lynch and the Greenlining Institute announce a $500 million initiative for under-served California communities
In 2003, Merrill Lynch and the Greenlining Institute announced a $500 million initiative to expand small business lending and promote economic opportunities in Asian Pacific, Latino and African-American communities throughout California.
The new program, the first of its kind by a Wall Street investment firm, represented a dramatic expansion of Merrill Lynch’s commitment to provide financial expertise and innovative approaches to help businesses in historically under-served markets in California. Merrill Lynch’s California Partnership for Economic Achievement began in 1996 as a $77 million pilot program in Los Angeles and Orange counties. In 2000, the firm announced a $159 million commitment and an expansion to most areas of Southern California and all of the San Francisco Bay Area.
The new program of 2003 includes $490 million in lending for small businesses in under-served areas and $10 million to support efforts in key areas of community development such as financial literacy, supplier diversity, and affordable homeownership. This initiative is part of a five-year outreach commitment and is to bring to $830 million the total focused directly on these markets.