Bank of America announced Tuesday that it will commit $1 billion over four years to help local communities grapple with the widened economic and racial inequality caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
The bank said in a press release that the program will focus on “assisting people and communities of color that have experienced a greater impact from the health crisis.”
“Underlying economic and social disparities that exist have accelerated and intensified during the global pandemic,” Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said in the release. “The events of the past week have created a sense of true urgency that has arisen across our nation, particularly in view of the racial injustices we have seen in the communities where we work and live. We all need to do more.”
Bank of America said the programs, which will be implemented by the company’s 90 local U.S. market presidents, will concentrate on areas impacted by the spread of Covid-19 including, health, jobs and retraining, support for small business and housing.
Specifically, the $1 billion in funding will be appropriated for initiatives including virus testing, flu vaccine clinics, support for minority-owned small businesses, investment for affordable housing and recruitment and retention of staff from low-to-moderate income communities.
The announcement from Bank of America comes amid widespread business closures and precautionary rules to slow the spread of Covid-19 as well as civil unrest across the country sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week.
Protests have occurred throughout major metropolitan areas in the U.S. including Los Angeles and New York City, where President Donald Trump has demanded tougher government response to curb outbreaks of violence and looting.
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