U.S. Bank transforms and expedites annual Market Impact Fund to help local nonprofits like PACE respond to immediate COVID-19 needs

US Bank Tower Los Angeles

The move is part of a broader shift of its community giving programs amid COVID-19 pandemic includes $50,000 Grant to PACE

U.S. Bank has expedited its annual $1 million Market Impact Fund grant program to provide funding for 30 local nonprofits that are working to respond to the most pressing needs in their communities.

From Seattle to Omaha to Charlotte, the grants are being used by nonprofits to infuse cash into small businesses in low-income neighborhoods, staff domestic abuse support services, support food banks, and more. The company is deploying these funds three months earlier than originally scheduled to ensure immediate relief.

The move is part of a broader shift in how U.S. Bank is approaching community giving this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, the company donated $4 million to three national nonprofits – United Way, LISC and Operation HOPE – and announced that its remaining $25 million in grants planned for this year could be used by nonprofits for general operating expenses rather than for specific programming.

The fund includes $50,000 to the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE) providing access to capital and technical assistance to small businesses affected by COVID-19.

“A huge thank you to U.S. Bank for supporting PACE and our newly launched small business relief fund with a $50,000 grant,” said Kerry Doi, President and CEO of PACE. “PACE Assistance in Disaster (PACE AID) is providing technical assistance and working capital loans to vulnerable and minority-owned small businesses. We are proud to partner with U.S. Bank to serve our small business community during this tumultuous time.”

In addition to philanthropic support, U.S. Bank has responded to the COVID-19 by instituting a premium pay program for front-line employees, modifying personal and small business products for customers, among other changes. A full list of all Market Impact Fund grant recipients can be found here. Additional information about its actions is available at usbank.com/covid-19 and usbank.com/newsroom.


About U.S. Bank

U.S. Bancorp, with more than 70,000 employees and $543 billion in assets as of March 31, 2020, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States. The Minneapolis-based bank blends its relationship teams, branches and ATM network with mobile and online tools that allow customers to bank how, when and where they prefer. U.S. Bank is committed to serving its millions of retail, business, wealth management, payment, commercial and corporate, and investment services customers across the country and around the world as a trusted financial partner, a commitment recognized by the Ethisphere Institute naming the bank one of the 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies. Visit U.S. Bank at www.usbank.com or follow on social media to stay up to date with company news.

Media contact
Susan Beatty, U.S. Bank
[email protected],

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Success Story: Buna Ethiopian Restaurant & Market

Business Counselor Steve Meng with Buna Ethiopian Market Owner Helena

Helena Zerfu immigrated to Los Angeles from Ethiopia in 2004. After many years of working in the restaurant industry, she opened her own restaurant Buna Ethiopian Market in 2011. She realized immediately that her customers enjoyed the dishes she prepared using her family recipes. Though she was a master in preparing these wonderful dishes, Helena also realized that she had little knowledge of how to run a business. She came to PACE Women’s Business Center (WBC) looking to increase her business skills.

Helena enrolled in the five-week intensive Entrepreneur Training Program (ETP) and learned about how to run a successful business. She completed the program,but she continued her business training. She met one-on-one with PACE WBC Director, Swann Do. In 2014, PACE helped Helena secure a $21,000 Small Business Administration (SBA) microloan to upgrade her restaurant’s kitchen equipment.

In March of 2015, Buna Ethiopian Market was recognized in an LA Weekly list of ‘99 Essential Restaurants’ in Los Angeles. This recognition has helped her restaurant stand out in her neighborhood and her sales have more than doubled. Helena’s five-year plan now includes creating a more casual family-style menu and opening additional locations in Los Angeles. She contributes much of her success to great mentors and access to resources with the help of PACE Women’s Business Center.