Results tagged as "citi community development"

  • Providing Vital Services to Homeowners in Puerto Rico

    By Guillermo Gómez, Citi Puerto Rico Country Officer, and Lily Lopez, Senior Vice President, Citi Community Development June 27, 2017 04:00 PM

    In the U.S., unemployment is low and economic growth is on the rise. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the current state of economic affairs in Puerto Rico, where 11 percent unemployment[1], declining wages[2] and the looming prospect of a $70 billion debt default have touched every aspect of daily life for citizens of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

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  • How Technology is Empowering Students in Chicago to Build Bright Financial Futures

    By George Wright, Midwest Region Director, Citi Community Development February 06, 2017 12:00 PM

    Research shows that one of the primary reasons students do not enroll or fail to complete college, even after they have already been accepted, is an inability to manage the newfound financial stresses associated with higher education.

    College tuition has eclipsed median incomes, rising even as salaries have remained stagnant. But the value of a college degree remains significant, as college-educated workers earn 70% more than non-college-educated peers.

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  • EITC Awareness Day: Tax Services for New Yorkers

    By Lorelei Salas, Commissioner, New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and Eileen Auld, Tri State Market Director, Citi Community Development January 27, 2017 04:00 PM

    Tax season is a stressful time for many. However, for low-income workers, the cost of tax preparation is often greater than they should bear – and many leave thousands of dollars in tax refunds they have earned on the table.

    Every year, households in New York City spend on average about $150 to $250 on tax preparation. They pay for these services primarily for the peace of mind that they offer that they are filing correctly and taking advantage of all available credits. But low-income households on average pay up to twice as much for the same service, despite the fact that there are many free high-quality options available.

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  • Connecting Immigrant Entrepreneurs with Tools to Succeed

    By Gregg Bishop, Commissioner, New York City Department of Small Business Services November 14, 2016 10:00 AM

    One third of New Yorkers are immigrants, yet they own half of all small businesses in the city.

    In the face of language, cultural, financial, and other barriers foreign-born residents face to make those businesses succeed, their rate of entrepreneurship outpaces the general population.

    That passion and grit is the hallmark of what makes each immigrant an instant New Yorker – and a welcome addition to our city. Despite this resiliency, there are challenges that remain for many immigrant New Yorkers when they hope to launch a small business.

    The New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), with the support of Mayor Bill de Blasio, is committed to supporting the entrepreneurial dreams of immigrants, as we do for all New Yorkers. Immigrant entrepreneurs are creating jobs for themselves, their families and communities, which are critical to a vibrant local economy. This is why our department was proud to partner with the mayor and Citi Community Development to launch the Immigrant Business Initiative.

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  • Working Together to Serve those who have Served

    By Marcia Saunders, Managing Director, Securities Services, Citi and NASI Senior Sponsor November 08, 2016 10:45 AM

    At Citi, we pride ourselves on our diverse culture and on the wide range of programs and employee volunteer opportunities we have to promote diversity and inclusion across the company. The North American Service Initiative (NASI), which partners with local veteran service organizations (VSO’s) to assist veterans and current service members in their local communities, is part of the company-wide Citi Salutes initiative, which connects veterans with Citi’s broad range of services geared to the military community. These services include opportunities for career advancement and partnerships with leading veteran service organizations and innovative banking services.

    Founded on Veterans Day in 2010, NASI and its hundreds of volunteers actively provide hands-on support for local veteran causes and programs. Supported by Citi Community Development, NASI has, for example, organized networking mixers for homeless veterans in Jacksonville, Florida, and bike builds in New York. The NASI network encompasses eight U.S. Citi locations and has impacted more than 13,000 veterans to date in 2016. By building relationships and working with local non-profits and VSOs, NASI volunteers have made a difference in their local communities for the past six years.

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  • Citibanamex: Inclusive by Design

    By Ernesto Torres Cantu, Chief Executive Officer, Citibanamex, and Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Inclusive Finance November 02, 2016 10:00 AM

    When Citi announced a US$1 billion investment in Citibanamex – proof of Mexico’s significant role in the bank’s global strategy – we made sure that this investment would be sustainable through the creation of a business unit dedicated to financial inclusion.

    Mexico’s residents face significant hurdles to financial inclusion. According to the 2015 Financial Inclusion National Survey, while 8 million adults have opened a bank account for the first time, approximately 38 million remain unbanked. That means more than half of the country’s adult population is cut off from the mainstream banking system. As a result, advances in financial technology are not improving economic outcomes. For instance, just 9.5 percent of adults are using mobile banking, even though 75 percent have a mobile phone.

    The Mexican government has taken significant and meaningful steps to expand access, especially with the launch of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy. But these steps are enhanced by partnership with the private sector – and Citi’s investment shows our commitment for the long haul and a formal alignment with Mexico’s national plan.

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  • EARN, Citi Community Development and the Microsavings Solution

    By Leigh Phillips, Chief Executive, EARN October 05, 2016 01:00 PM

    Saving money is an act of hope – and pragmatism– for tomorrow.

    Saving money means planning for the best, while being prepared for the worst.

    Too many families in America, however, when considering whether to buy a home or save for a child’s college education, lack access to the right tools and support to start saving, build a financial buffer against the unexpected, and invest in the future.

    According to the Federal Reserve Bank, approximately one of every two American households are considered “financially fragile,” a status defined by being unable to cover an unexpected $400 expense without going into debt.

    EARN -- a national nonprofit helping working families achieve prosperity through savings – is working to address that widespread challenge by connecting low-income families with savings solutions. Our clients are 90% people of color, 76% women, and earn on average $21,000 a year.

    Over the past 15 years, our programs have helped more than 6,500 low-income families in California save $7 million of their own money. As we plan for the next 15 years, we have our sights set higher. EARN is pioneering a new approach to savings that leverages technology to provide a range of flexible solutions. Citi’s support has been critical – and will continue to be — to achieve these results.

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  • Interise: Enabling Small Businesses to Grow

    By Jean Horstman, Chief Executive, Interise September 20, 2016 12:30 PM

    Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all U.S. employers. That’s why when small businesses thrive, our economy and communities thrive.

    Yet 96 percent of small businesses fail in the first 10 years of operation.

    We need to resolve this shortfall to create more jobs, strengthen cities’ local economies, and create more diversity among successful business owners.

    That’s why Interise developed the StreetWise ‘MBA'™, an intensive, hands-on, 13-week mini MBA program to help small business owners with demonstrated potential survive that hazardous and critical start-up phase. CEOs who have themselves achieved early business growth and are motivated to build their own business skills and their network of peer entrepreneurs act as advisors to the program and its participants.

    StreetWise ‘MBA'™ entrepreneurs graduate with a three-year strategic growth action plan and the tools, peer and professional networks needed to implement it. In addition, after completing the program small business owners find themselves far better equipped to successfully bid on contracts with government and anchor institutions.

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  • Celebrating 2 Years of Cities for Citizenship

    By Eileen Auld, New York Tri-State Market Manager, Citi Community Development September 14, 2016 10:00 AM

    About two years ago, Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development, and I met with Nisha Agarwal, Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, to discuss an innovative idea to advance financial inclusion in America’s cities: Cities for Citizenship.

    At the time, we were collaborating on a New York-focused program that connected eligible immigrants to naturalization resources through their public-school aged children. But we wanted to think even more broadly, because the stakes across the country are high.

    There are almost 9 million immigrants eligible to naturalize today, more than half of whom are living on low incomes. But due to financial, legal and language barriers, they have not become citizens. Their situation is limiting economic opportunities not just for them but for their families and the cities where they live. Foreign-born residents who naturalize see up to an eleven percent boost in personal incomes due to access to better jobs, social benefits and educational opportunities. Naturalized citizens are also over four times more likely to have a bank account than non-citizens, providing them with financial security and the ability to more fully participate in the economy. The U.S. is missing out on billions of dollars in tax revenues and earnings due to this naturalization gap. For example, if all eligible immigrants naturalized in Los Angeles, tax revenues would increase by $364 million dollars.

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  • Mission Transition: Citi and Military.com Team Up on New Mobile App for Servicemembers and Families

    By Ruth Christopherson, Senior Vice President, Citi Community Development and Citi Salutes, Retired Colonel, U.S. Air National Guard August 04, 2016 09:30 AM

    At Citi, we’re working to respond to the complex challenges faced by military families, and to the unique needs of America’s uniformed men and women who are transitioning out of the military in large numbers. With almost every aspect of their lives up in the air -- securing a job, finding housing, and establishing financial plans -- many individuals and families struggle to prepare for the future.

    Every service member’s journey is different. Some transition out after one enlistment, some retire after 20 years of service, while still others are National Guard Members or Reservists leaving a full time position to reenter the civilian workforce. These differences in experience can make it difficult for transitioning service members to locate the knowledge, tools and resources they need to become financially successful in the civilian world. I am familiar with this challenge firsthand.

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