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Columbus Awarded Competitive Grant to Create Financial Empowerment Strategy for Women and Families

Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund Selects Columbus as One of Seven Cities for CityStart 2019 Grant Cohort

[COLUMBUS, OH] The City of Columbus wants to provide women and families a pathway out of poverty. In July 2019, the City received a $20,000 CityStart grant from Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund) to create a sustainable roadmap for financial stability and empowerment. Columbus’ application was submitted jointly by the Columbus Women’s Commission, on behalf of the Mayor’s office, and Columbus City Council President Pro Tempore Elizabeth Brown.

Columbus is one of seven cities selected for the second 2019 CityStart grant, joining Birmingham, AL; Jackson, MS; Jersey City, NJ; New Orleans, LA; Madison, WI; and Waco, TX. Each city will receive a $20,000 planning grant and an intensive 6-9 month technical assistance engagement partnership with the CFE Fund.

"Women experience financial instability at a greater rate than men for a number of reasons,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “I formed the Columbus Women’s Commission with First Lady Shannon Ginther in my first year as Mayor of Columbus to advance the economic well-being of women in our community. The CityStart grant will help us in this important work.”

The CityStart initiative offers a structured approach that combines local priorities, community input and industry insight to craft an action plan or “blueprint.” It draws on CFE Fund's extensive programmatic work with government leaders in more than 80 cities. The goal is to connect critical on-the-ground insight about the impact of financial instability on Columbus’ families, communities and municipal budget with measurable and sustainable strategies to improve families' financial lives.

“Providing women with the resources they need to improve their financial security not only helps them support themselves and their families, but it also improves our entire community,” said President Pro Tem Brown. “I am excited to work with our local partners and CFE Fund to make a positive difference for Columbus women.”

With the support of CFE Fund, Columbus will craft its municipal financial blueprint and identify implementation steps based on the needs of residents, key city priorities and partnership opportunities. Development of the plan will be based on a series of briefings with key stakeholders and a boot camp that brings together key local constituencies.

“The best way to understand the needs of all women is to engage directly with individuals and community partners throughout Columbus,” said President Pro Tem Brown. “Basing our strategy on the lived experiences of the people who are most affected amplifies the impact of our financial empowerment efforts.”

In 2018, CFE Fund competitively selected its inaugural cohort of CityStart cities, which have since created blueprints that outline their administration's vision for integrating financial empowerment efforts within local government infrastructure.

"Cities control a host of policies, programs and funding streams that can transform the lives of residents with low incomes on a large scale. Across the nation, more and more city leaders are turning to innovative financial empowerment strategies to improve the financial stability of their residents," said Jonathan Mintz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund.

"We look forward to working with Columbus Mayor Ginther and Columbus City Council President Pro Tem Brown to empower and educate residents. We also thank JPMorgan Chase for their long-standing partnership and investment in municipal financial empowerment." Mintz continued.

JPMorgan Chase's support of CFE Fund is part of the bank's $125 million, five-year commitment to improving the financial health of people in the U.S. and across the world, especially those in underserved communities.

"JPMorgan Chase is committed to giving people access to the tools and resources they need to better manage their financial lives. We are pleased to support CFE Fund as part of our work to help Columbus residents improve their financial health," said Corrine Burger, Chief Control Manager for JPMorgan Chase's Consumer & Community Banking and Asset & Wealth Management, and Columbus Location Leader.


About the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund)
The CFE Fund supports municipal efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging opportunities unique to local government. By translating cutting edge experience with large scale programs, research, and policy in cities of all sizes, the CFE Fund assists mayors and other local leaders in over 80 cities to identify, develop, fund, implement, and research pilots and programs that help families build assets and make the most of their financial resources. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter at @CFEFund.