Truist pledges $50 million in COVID-19 relief effort

After initial funding for basic needs and medical supplies, a further $25 million is slated for broadband access in underserved communities

Financial services company Truist announced today that it will commit an additional $25 million as part of its Truist Cares initiative, now totaling $50 million.

Truist Cares was launched earlier this year as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with funding to target underserved community segments, providing resources for small businesses and essential technology services in areas with limited access.

The pledge will put $9 million to engage leading industry partners to bring technology services and devices to underserved communities; $10 million to aid small businesses and community development financial institutions [CDFIs] through access to capital; and technical support and $6 million to nonprofit organizations where Truist teammates live and work.

Truist said the funding will also be allocated to reinforce volunteer-led efforts by teammates.

“Since announcing the Truist Cares initiative, we have quickly mobilized with our partners to meet critical needs in our communities with a focus on supporting youth, seniors, small businesses, connectivity and the workforce, including vulnerable, hourly workers,” said Truist Chairman and CEO Kelly S. King.

“This additional phase of funding will have a special emphasis on serving the communities who may feel forgotten,” King continued. “It’s not just about surviving the crisis – it’s about rebuilding our communities with an even stronger foundation to help our country’s ongoing recovery.”

There will also be $1.5 million allocated to the Community Education Alliance, which will work with Empowering Communities.

“Through this grant, Community Education Alliance [CEA] and its partners will be able to address the pressing educational and social issues in our community that stem from the lack of broadband access,” said CEA Founder Michael Karp.

“Our families and especially our children have been challenged by inadequate or lack of bandwidth for online learning,” Karp continued. “Many of our students are at risk of falling back an entire educational year. This initiative will be a breakthrough in addressing the technology and opportunity divide our community.”

Truist will also donate $3 million to Local Initiatives Support Corporation to support the recovery of small businesses.

The funding will provide grants and technical assistance to small businesses – particularly those with fewer than 10 employees and businesses that are owned by women and minorities. This funding will not only help meet short-term financial needs but will also equip businesses with the knowledge and resources to be sustainable after COVID-19.

“Small businesses are transformative members of our communities and, together with Truist, we are working to help them sustain operations, preserve jobs, rebound and, ultimately, move toward recovery,” said LISC President and CEO Maurice A. Jones. “By bridging gaps in capital and services, we can support both rural and urban small businesses, especially those owned by women and minorities and those benefiting economically vulnerable communities.”

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