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Retirement Planning > Retirement Investing

PCS Retirement Starts Community Cares Fund: Coronavirus Aid Roundup

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PCS Retirement and its affiliated companies Aspire Financial Services, The Advisor Lab, Advisor Trust, Fiduciary Advisors and Efficient Advisors created the PCS Community Cares Fund to help communities hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PCS stakeholder community — including the firm’s executive team, employees, business partners and investors, as well as its clients and industry partners including advisors, third-party administrators and plan sponsors — can contribute to the fund, the firm said.

“Contributions will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000” by the firm, it noted.

“Our mission has always been to protect the nest eggs and enhance the outcomes of hardworking Americans in saving for their retirement,” the company said in its announcement, adding: “The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to difficult economic circumstances for so many and we are compelled to do our part to assist.”

Black Business Advocacy Groups Partner With Chase

In an initiative designed to help Black-owned businesses harmed by the pandemic recover and move forward, a coalition of four business advocacy groups partnered with JPMorgan Chase to launch Advancing Black Entrepreneurs by Chase for Business.

Together with Chase Business Banking, the four organizations — the National Minority Supplier Development Council, U.S. Black Chambers, National Urban League and Black Enterprise— developed an educational curriculum “designed specifically for eligible Black entrepreneurs on key topics that are vital to business growth and sustainability,” JPMorgan Chase said.

“The effects of the economic downturn have been especially severe for Black-owned businesses— many of which entered this crisis undercapitalized,” the firm noted. Black-owned businesses saw a 26% decline in cash balances in March compared to the previous year, according to the JPMorgan Chase Institute, and they may require more recovery assistance than other companies due to “severe revenue shocks in recent months,” the firm said.

Experts from the four advocacy groups will administer a series of 90-minute virtual sessions to participating entrepreneurs at no cost. Participating entrepreneurs will receive free instruction on topics including how to protect cash flow, reduce expenses, maintain vendor relationships, collect outstanding revenues, and manage inventory and other assets, the company said.

Participating entrepreneurs will also be instructed how to “reimagine” their businesses if needed — with “insights into how to build more flexibility into supply chains, develop an online presence, revisit staffing models, and a primer on accounting best practices for new grants or loans they may have recently received,” the company said. The course will also provide insights into how to manage banking relationships in this challenging environment, it added.

U.S. Capital Advisors Donates to United Way

U.S. Capital Advisors and its employees donated $101,000 to the United Way COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund.

The contribution combines donations from USCA employees with an amount equal to the firm’s gross institutional trading commissions generated May 13, USCA’s 2020 Charity Trading Day, the firm said.

The United Way COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund is offering relief to communities in need across the U.S., with a primary focus on providing food, housing and financial assistance to those hardest hit by the pandemic, U.S. Capital Advisors said.

Citi Increases COVID-19 Relief Aid

After new pandemic-related initiatives, Citi and the Citi Foundation have now committed more than $100 million in support of COVID-19-related community relief and economic recovery efforts globally, Citi said.

That includes more than $35 million in new funding, adding to the firm’s previously announced $65 million in grants and charitable contributions to deliver ongoing relief and support for longer-term economic recovery in communities impacted by the global pandemic, it said. The contributions include $2 million from Citi employees via a donation matching program.

“Recognizing the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 has had on communities of color” in the U.S., Citi and the Citi Foundation expanded support for Community Development Financial Institutions, which Citi said “play a vital role in expanding access to safe and affordable products and services for these businesses and communities.”

Furthering plans announced in April to donate net profits from Citi’s participation in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, $25 million in initial proceeds from PPP has been donated to the Citi Foundation, the firm said.

The Citi Foundation is deploying $15 million in unrestricted funding of up to $500,000 per CDFI to support small businesses owned by people of color and low- and moderate-income individuals and communities, the company noted. The remaining $10 million in PPP net profits was deployed by the Citi Foundation to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation to support the New York Forward Loan Fund, which it said is “enabling CDFIs making loans to small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords for working capital, including payroll, operating and emergency maintenance.”

Those philanthropic efforts complement Citi’s partnership with the National Banking Association, and the creation of a purchasing facility to assume up to $50 million in PPP loans from Minority Depository Institutions, Citi said.

Additional immediate relief and investments in longer-term solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic around the world include, in North America: Donating funds to provide 5,000 free annual Citi Bike memberships to eligible critical workers in New York City; donating $2.5 million to support World Central Kitchen’s #ChefsForAmerica relief effort; and providing $1 million to the Credit Builders Alliance and its members to offer Housing Stability Loans in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Miami and Chicago; loans will help unemployed or underemployed workers avoid eviction or foreclosure and maintain credit scores, Citi said.

— Check out What Clients Think of Advisors’ COVID-19 Response, in 4 Charts: J.D. Power on ThinkAdvisor.


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