Three-year commitment is part of Key’s five-year National Community Benefits Plan
BRUNSWICK — KeyBank Foundation has donated $450,000 payable over three years to Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), a national leader in rural business development, to support small business growth and job creation in Maine’s rural counties.
The grant, approved as part of Key’s $16.5 billion National Community Benefits Plan, will provide new support for CEI’s small business lending and advisory services and innovative partnerships with local organizations to help grow economic opportunity and quality jobs in rural Maine.
“We are grateful for KeyBank’s recognition of the challenges and opportunities that Maine’s rural regions face as they work to grow more – and better quality – jobs and environmentally sustainable enterprises,” said Betsy Biemann, CEI’s CEO. “We are here to help business owners access the financial resources and business advice that they need to be a successful part of their local economy.”
With KeyBank’s investment of $150,000 per year for three years, CEI expects to provide lending and business advisory services to 1,400 aspiring and current small business owners and help create and retain 300 jobs in the region in the next three years. In addition, CEI will pilot new work with local anchor institutions and partners to grow entrepreneurship as a means to generate income and savings, particularly for individuals with low incomes in the area.
“Support to small business development and entrepreneurship is increasingly recognized as an effective strategy for growing community and increasing family assets and stability,” said KeyBank’s Maine Market President and Regional Executive Sterling Kozlowski. “In rural counties, where 88% of businesses have four or fewer employees, the continued growth of existing and new enterprises is essential to job creation and driving economic vitality in the region, and KeyBank is proud to support CEI’s transformational efforts.”
In March 2016, KeyBank demonstrated its deep commitment to helping communities thrive with the release of its National Community Benefits Plan. The plan marks KeyBank’s $16.5 billion commitment to community development and investment across its 15-state footprint over the next five years in four main areas: mortgage, small business lending, community development lending & investment (CDLI), and philanthropy. The goal of the National Community Benefits Plan is to help drive transformative change across all the communities KeyBank serves. The $450,000 commitment to CEI is the second major charitable gift made this year in the state of Maine; in August, KeyBank Foundation committed $300,000 to Preble Street in Portland to help eliminate homelessness.
KeyBank has 50 branches serving individuals, families and businesses throughout Maine, including 15 branches in the Oxford, Franklin, Somerset, Piscataquis, Penobscot, and Aroostook counties.
Now in its 40th year of building an economy that works for everyone, Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) helps to grow good jobs, environmentally sustainable enterprises, and shared prosperity in Maine and in rural regions across the country by integrating financing, business and industry expertise, and policy solutions. CEI envisions a world in which communities are economically and environmentally healthy, enabling all people, especially those with low incomes, to reach their full potential. Find out more at www.ceimaine.org.
About KeyBank Foundation:
KeyBank Foundation serves to fulfill KeyBank’s purpose “to help clients and communities thrive,” and its mission is “to support organizations and programs that prepare people for thriving futures.” The Foundation’s mission is advanced through three funding priorities – neighbors, education, and workforce – and through community service. To provide meaningful philanthropy that transforms lives, KeyBank Foundation listens carefully to understand the unique characteristics and needs of its communities and then backs solutions with targeted philanthropic investments. KeyBank Foundation is a nonprofit charitable foundation, funded by KeyCorp.