As part of the U.S. Bank Foundation’s $30 million commitment to help with immediate and long-term COVID-19 relief efforts, and to address unmet needs in local markets across the country, in December 2020 U.S. Bank announced $50,000 in new giving in support of two Coachella Valley community organizations.
The funding, targeted to assist businesses and residents most impacted by the economic repercussions of the pandemic, were in addition to the nearly $100,000 investment that U.S. Bank previously awarded to nonprofits serving the Coachella Valley community in 2020.
The collective action partnership Lift to Rise, received $25,000 to support low-income individuals and families across the Coachella Valley experiencing severe economic strain and housing insecurity resulting from the pandemic.
The Coachella Valley Economic Partnership (CVEP) received $25,000 to aid businesses owned by people of color to help find solutions for a wide range of complex problems amplified by the effects of COVID-19.
“People are at the heart of everything we do at U.S. Bank, and we are grateful to be able to work together with the nonprofit organizations making a meaningful impact and bringing hope to the people of Coachella Valley,” said Jeff Lewis, U.S. Bank Consumer and Business Banking Senior Vice President for the Inland Empire. “From helping Coachella Valley residents to meet their basic needs such as food and shelter, to assisting the hardest hit struggling businesses, U.S. Bank thanks our nonprofit partners for making ‘Community Possible’ during this time of extraordinary uncertainty.”
In addition to charitable funding, U.S. Bank team members have given their time, with employees in the Inland Empire donating close to 6,000 volunteer hours since the start of 2019. The U.S. Bank team’s involvement in the community also includes participation in 22 nonprofit boards throughout the region, as well as virtual financial literacy training and service events.
U.S. Bank Mortgage team member and CVEP Board Chair, Randy Florence noted, “Black and Hispanic business owners have been significantly more affected by the pandemic, with fewer reporting that they are growing or profitable, with more reporting that they have been disrupted by remote work, lack of child care, or COVID-19 infections. Black and Hispanic business owners were also more likely to seek government or private funding, but less likely to receive it than white business owners. I’m grateful that U.S. Bank can help to fill some of these gaps through CVEP’s important work in the Coachella Valley.”
“Preserving our diverse-owned businesses is so important,” said Joe Wallace, CEO/President of the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership. “These businesses provide needed jobs, and they contribute to the overall character and productivity of our community. With the help of the U.S. Bank grant, CVEP will be able to increase its services to businesses in need by assisting them in building/rebuilding credit, accessing funding, and adjusting operations to reclaim or preserve their profitability under government restrictions.”
Concurrently, Lift To Rise works to achieve an equitable future where all Coachella Valley families are healthy, stable and thriving by catalyzing both institutional and grassroots leaders to effectively collaborate and shift their attention and activities toward mutually reinforced interventions that address the underlying causes of poverty.
“U.S. Bank’s generous contribution is helping to make our vast, region-wide COVID-19 response possible,” said Heather Vaikona, Lift to Rise President and CEO. “This type of support is critical to our ability to respond boldly and adapt to fast-changing economic insecurity during an unprecedented pandemic that has left so many of our neighbors out of work and struggling to pay for food and afford their rent.”