Mobile payment company Square has announced plans to invest $100 million in support of minority and underserved communities as part of its ongoing commitment to economic empowerment and racial equity.
The investments include $25 million for deposits in community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and minority depository institutions (MDIs) and a $25 million investment in the National Bankers' Association-sponsored Keepers Fund, which will invest the capital in MDIs that lend in low- and moderate-income areas or to low- and moderate-income individuals. The company also will contribute $25 million to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation's Black Economic Development Fund, which will provide deposits, bridge financing, and other financing to Black-led businesses and anchor and financial institutions. An additional $25 million will be reserved for future investment in social impact projects.
The investments are a continuation of Square's efforts to expand access to financial services in underserved communities, which it launched in 2019 when it began dedicating deposits to CDFIs and MDIs. In addition, Square co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey has announced major commitments to social justice and racial equity initiatives through his #startsmall LLC, including, most recently, $7.6 million to FUSE Corps, $2.6 million to FREEAMERICA, $2.5 million to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, and $10 million to Boston University in support of its new Center for Antiracist Research.
"With its impact investment and committed partnership, Square is helping us fight the racial wealth gap and drive lasting gains for American families and communities," said LISC president and CEO Maurice A. Jones. "Investments in Black-owned banks, credit unions, CDFIs, other businesses, and HBCUs fuel economic justice and opportunity in underserved communities and support a broadly shared prosperity throughout the country. This is especially important now, as people deal with the effects of COVID-19, a recession and a racial reckoning — and plan for recovery, reconstruction, and renewed growth."