Have you ever worked with your local bank branch team, virtually or in person? From opening a bank account or line of credit, to exploring mortgage financing options and small business loans, your new Community Manager the Chase branch at 6650 S. Stony Island Ave., is tuned in to the South Shore/Woodlawn community’s financial wellness needs and ready to help you achieve your next milestone.
Jared Evans– one of 150 Community Managers we’re hiring across the country – joined our team specifically to work with you and your community to increase awareness of and access to resources, financial health tools, and services. Community Managers are often from local neighborhoods who understand the challenges your community faces and have committed to helping you forge a strong financial future at any stage of your financial journey. With the help of local nonprofit partners who are invested in driving change for Black communities in Chicago, we are bringing more allies to your local bank branch who share Chase’s goal of empowering you to improve and achieve financial health.
We sat down with Jared to discuss plans to help Chicago’s Black communities grow, the changes the new branch is expected to bring, and how you can work with him to chart your path forward and meet your financial goals.
How does your job differ from other Chase Bank Branch Managers?
JARED: My role was designed specifically to meet the unique financial wellness needs of our city’s Black community. We want to evolve from community banking to community building and to do this, we’re actively working to reverse systemic inequalities across the financial system, break down economic barriers and support the success of our customers and our community. We plan to start by providing access to financial health resources, tools, and allies to help you achieve your financial goals. Think of a community manager as a neighbor who understands intentional relationship building, the financial needs of leaders, organizations, and people in your community – and who introduces you to the right person in the bank who can help. Much of the community manager’s time is spent outside of the branch cultivating relationships in the neighborhood. Meanwhile, a branch manager is a more traditional role created to help you with everyday banking needs at the branch level – like opening a bank account or offering advice on homeownership and small business growth.
How do you hope to financially empower the Black community in the South Shore neighborhood?
JARED: We want to be the voice for those who historically have felt voiceless and be that bridge of trust between the community and the bank. We’re here to empower members and businesses in the Black community with tools to build generational wealth and a long-lasting legacy. Awareness and accessibility are key, and we see the local branch as an ideal place to begin fostering vital community connections and touchpoints to help our customers reach their financial goals. As a Community Manager, my job is to connect with the individuals, families and business owners here in Chicago, and increase awareness and utilization of available resources. My team and I will help you and others in your neighborhood take advantage of financial health tools, products and services, while aiming to boost general financial knowledge via unique and free interactive programs, such as:
• Resources to support the financial health
• Home buying tips
• Educational and enrichment workshops such as resume writing and cybersecurity tips
• Growth support for entrepreneurs starting or expanding their small businesses
While we’re just getting started, I hope to make a real difference in the lives of the families, individuals, homeowners and business owners in our community.
What financial opportunities will you make available to Black communities here in South Shore?
JARED: We want to promote financial health, homeownership, and Black-owned businesses.
One of our priorities will be to help individuals in our community open a checking account for the first time, as this is the key to financial stability and critical to closing gaps in access to banking. To do this, we’ll walk through our low-cost, no-overdraft checking accounts like Chase Secure Banking, which can offer security to those who might be new to banking or who have had trouble getting or keeping a bank account in the past.
My team is also responsible for promoting growth among Black-owned small businesses – which means we’ll help local entrepreneurs secure loans. We’ve also brought onboard home lending advisors who are focused on helping more of the community secure the funds needed for affordable, sustainable homeownership. Lastly, we’re proud to be teaming with several local nonprofit organizations that are helping lead the change in homeownership on the South and West sides of Chicago.
You mentioned another goal of the branch is “community building.” What does this mean and how will you do this in SouthShore?
JARED: Community building goes back to the word “trust” and I want to showcase Chase is the bank for all. The way we’re going to do that is by really being proximate, being in the community, and rolling up our sleeves. We want to allow people to come inside the branch and have them see and utilize the community space. The branch is not for Chase, it’s for the community. My favorite hashtag is, #yourcommunitycenterisopen. Another big priority for us is working with local nonprofits and organizations that understand and are invested in driving change.
Our staff will play a big part in this as well – not just from Chicago but from, and a reflection of, the local Black communities we call home. At the age of 14, I got my first summer job selling ice cream outside of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, and throughout the neighborhoods of South Shore, Woodlawn, Hyde Park, and Kenwood. In fact, right outside this branch is where I worked as a little boy for a Black small business owner, who believed in giving kids a chance. This is my neighborhood; this is where I grew up and where I learned the value of hard work at an early age. I live and breathe this community.
Stop by to learn more about the resources available. My team and I look forward to getting to know you.
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