Chase and the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE), the largest nonprofit center for Black entrepreneurs and small business owners in the nation, announced the opening of the Chase Lounge at the Russell Center.

Located in the heart of Atlanta at 504 Fair St. SW, the Chase Lounge at RICE will foster a high-energy, inclusive community with lab-to-market resources for emerging and progressing business owners that will drive real diversity, inspiration, and collaboration among Atlanta’s thought leaders.

“We are proud to partner with JPMorgan Chase in our shared commitment to pursue pathways that expand the possibilities for Black entrepreneurs in Atlanta and across our nation, especially at this critical time amid a global pandemic that has disproportionately impacted Black- and Brown-owned businesses,” said Jay Bailey, CEO and president of RICE. “Access to financial education and advice is a crucial foundational element of business success.

He added, ” We’re excited to debut the Chase Lounge as one of the first elements of our recently remodeled, dynamic space because it will help our business owners monetize their assets and advance in their journey of building generational wealth.”

JPMorgan Chase also announced an additional $392,000 in grants to three small business-focused non-profits in Atlanta: Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center, Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, and Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative.

In total, since 2017, Chase has invested $1.9 million in Atlanta’s small business-focused endeavors. Chase’s partnership with the Russell Center goes beyond dollars by giving small business owners the resources they need – like financial consulting and small business education – to begin, grow and succeed.

The Chase Lounge further enhances the innovative, multi-use space RICE provides entrepreneurs and small business owners to gather, learn and advance their financial futures.   

Chase is among several corporate, foundation, and individual partners, including the Ressler Gertz Family Foundation and the Atlanta Hawks, supporting RICE’s commitment to delivering a majority self-sustaining facility with world-class programming that provides a comprehensive space for all aspects of small business enablement.

Readily available access to financial education and resources is a core part of building a small business and creating the path to success. Formerly known as the RCIE, the Russell Center recently changed its name to RICE to put more focus on the reason the center was built: to help entrepreneurs of color in Atlanta.

“We want to support and prepare the people and businesses in Atlanta for a brighter future that drives generational economic growth,” said Dominique Wilkins, Vice President of Basketball and Special Advisor to the CEO of the Atlanta Hawks. “The Hawks Foundation is proud to join the Russell Center and Chase in this effort to bring more resources to entrepreneurs in Greater Atlanta.”

To help strengthen the firm’s connection in Atlanta, Chase has added a community manager to the Chase Lounge, who will be responsible for one-on-one engagement and consultation with customers and will also lead the development of programming for entrepreneurs, individuals, and students.

“Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of our economy and the most common path to fulfilling the American Dream,” said Mark Adams, Georgia and North Florida Market Director for Chase. “We’re committed to ensuring that more Black entrepreneurs and people of color have access to the resources they need to pursue this dream. Being embedded at RICE – inspired by the legacy of Herman J. Russell – will facilitate authentically, trust-building interactions with local entrepreneurs on the path to fulfilling their dreams.”

One such program that’s already in place is the monthly Chase Business Banking “Resource Roundtables,” where bankers will host community events to discuss best practices for how to successfully operate a business while sharing insights about new products, resources, and services for entrepreneurs.

JP Morgan Chase and the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE) announced the opening of the Chase Lounge at the Russell Center. (Photo: Russell Center)

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