KeyBank commits $24 million to small businesses, job creation

KeyBank Foundation, the charitable arm of the Cleveland bank, has committed $24 million over four years to business development nonprofit JumpStart.

People, from KeyBank and JumpStart, pose with a presentation check.
KeyBank CEO Beth Mooney (second from left), KeyBank Cleveland Market President Kip Clarke (center), and KeyBank Foundation CEO and Chair Margot Copeland (second from right) present a check for $24 million to JumpStart CEO Ray Leach (far left) and JumpStart President Cathy Belk (far right).

KeyBank Foundation, the charitable arm of the Cleveland bank, committed $24 million over four years to business development nonprofit JumpStart.

JumpStart, based in northeast Ohio, works to foster economic development and job creation. It also offers small business development education. KeyBank’s grant is the foundation’s single largest philanthropic commitment to date.

The “KeyBank Business Boost and Build Program, powered by JumpStart” will focus on communities in Ohio and upstate New York and provide support and structure for individuals, entrepreneurs and small business owners while creating jobs and preparing students for careers in the growing technology, service and manufacturing industries. Specifically, the program is based on a five-pillar initiative funded by the KeyBank Foundation and implemented by JumpStart.

Goals of the program include accelerating the growth of more than 2,500 small businesses and micro-enterprises. The majority of these will be women- or minority-owned businesses. The program will support more than 2,000 tech startup and scale-up companies. It will create a minimum of 5,350 jobs and connect 800 people with open job opportunities. It will support participation in the tech economy by fulfilling business needs or workforce training for 1,000 individuals. Finally, it will prepare more than 1,000 high school students to enter the workforce.

“KeyBank’s purpose is to help clients and communities thrive. We are committed to being both a responsible bank and a responsible citizen,” said KeyBank CEO Beth Mooney. “We accomplish this by improving access to education and career opportunities, lifting neighborhoods up, fostering innovation, creating pathways to home and business ownership, and encouraging community engagement, diversity, and inclusion. While KeyBank and JumpStart have been long-standing partners, this expansion is purpose in action.”

JumpStart was created after a 2003 meeting of northeast Ohio’s civic, community and philanthropic leaders in response to the need for job and wealth creation in the region. The organization provides venture capital and one-on-one intensive assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners to encourage growth.

“This expanded partnership with KeyBank, whose long support of our work has already helped hundreds of diverse entrepreneurs grow their small businesses and create thousands of jobs, will dramatically increase the impact of entrepreneurs and small businesses on neighborhoods and communities,” said Ray Leach, JumpStart CEO. “This transformative partnership will allow us and our partners to provide services and much needed capital for many more startup and scaling companies, catalyzing job growth and innovation across Ohio and in upstate New York. It will also dramatically increase the participation of minorities and women in the growth of these companies, a goal we’ve long shared.”

The grant will fund creation of the KeyBank Center for Technology, Innovation and Inclusive Growth to serve individuals across Ohio. It will offer small business technical assistance in Cleveland and Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany, N.Y. It also will provide grants or equity capital for technology startups and scale-ups in addition to vocational education and workforce training for Cleveland students.

The grant is part of the bank’s $16.5 billion National Community Benefits Plan, which established a $175 million philanthropic commitment in 2016.

The $136 billion KeyBank traces its roots to the Commercial Bank of Albany, which was founded in 1825. KeyBank was headquartered there until its merger with Cleveland’s Society National Bank in 1993.