JP Morgan Chase invests $850K in Ascend Long Island


JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was in Huntington today.

Dimon joined Long Island leaders to announce JP Morgan Chase’s $850,000 investment in Ascend Long Island, which is administered through various entities at Hofstra University, and supports the economic development of underserved communities in the region.

Ascend Long Island aims to drive inclusive economic growth across Long Island – an opportunity that needs more support, experts said Monday.

“COVID-19 and the murder of George Floyd reminded us of all the things we already knew and shouldn’t forget,” Dimon told the crowd of regional leaders as well as JP Morgan Chase team members. “When disasters like COVID-19 happen, we usually leave behind the lower income society of America – they get hurt the most.”

Dimon went on to say that “I think it’s ok to take this great country of ours and acknowledge the flaws and say we can do better.”

For Black and Latino entrepreneurs, experts say,  access to capital, technical assistance, mentorship and other critical resources needed for businesses growth and scale are not equitably available.

Through Ascend Long Island, JPMorgan Chase, Northwell Health, Hofstra University, National Grid and other partners are working to change that. The thinking is that when underserved communities succeed, the region succeeds.

Launched in 2018, Ascend Long Island has received more than $1 million to date, connecting 55 Black and Latino small business entrepreneurs to management education, market opportunities and money to help fuel the growth of diverse led businesses.

The effort comes after decades of institutional racism, which hasn’t yet abated on Long Island, Lawrence Levy, executive dean The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra said.

“Even with the increasing number of diverse people living on Long Island of powerful middle and upper middle class, Jim Crow suburban-style still lives on,” he said. “That’s why we need to make new history.”

He said that “our suburbs and many others are still at the frontline in the wary for equity and inclusion. America’s first suburb is sadly to my way of thinking America’s most segregated suburb and it continues to have toxic implications.”

Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health, asked the audience to imagine “how much better a society we could have if all those people around us irrespective of color” religion, ethnicity and zip code” had access to opportunity.

“The talent and the potential is extraordinary,” he said.

Nelson Roma, of National Grid’s sustainability and supplier diversity team, said the program leverages the organization’s existing procurement processes and practices” enabling it to engage with general contractors, primes and subcontractors to land contracts.

Ascend Long Island is administered by Hofstra University’s Center for Entrepreneurship, National Center for Suburban Studies, and Scott Skodnek Business Development Center and partners with BOC Capital Corp and an Anchor Partner Advisory Council comprised of regional corporations and governments who are committed to supplier diversity.


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