DETROIT, Oct. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank today announced a $350,000 donation to Michigan Women Forward (MWF), a community development organization whose mission is to expand economic opportunity for Michigan women. Comerica's contribution helps replenish MWF's Entrepreneur Resilience Fund, established to support women-led small businesses recovery from the pandemic and re-open their businesses. These funds will provide much-needed, additional loan dollars throughout the state.
"We are committed to supporting women-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs, helping them recover amid COVID-19," said Mike Ritchie, Comerica Bank Michigan market president. "The stability and growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs significantly contributes to the economic vitality of our communities, as they provide important employment opportunities and deliver valuable resources and services. We are honored to partner with Michigan Women Forward to help businesses throughout our state."
Michigan Women Forward's mission is to accelerate the state's progress by advancing equality and opportunity for women and girls. MWF is the only major organization in Michigan exclusively committed to ﬁnding solutions to issues affecting women and girls, inspiring emerging leaders, providing leadership training and empowering women and girls to create change in their own communities.
"We are very thankful for Comerica Bank's donation, as it will greatly leverage our efforts to help small businesses across the state to obtain the resources and aid they need to recover from COVID-19," said Carolyn Cassin, Michigan Women Forward president and CEO. "Our mission began more than thirty years ago by a group of 30 Michigan women that wanted to address the imbalance in funding women's programs."
Comerica is committed to helping businesses statewide. Comerica Bank and Comerica Charitable Foundation announced an investment totaling nearly $4 million in Michigan, including Comerica's partnership with Michigan Women Forward. Coupled with aid to small and micro businesses, investments have assisted community service organizations providing services to youth, seniors and other vulnerable populations.
"We are proud to support Michigan Women Forward's lending programs that provide access to capital to small businesses, and we look forward to strengthening our partnership and working collaboratively to address the negative impact COVID-19 has had on small businesses," said Linda N. Nosegbe, Comerica Bank Southeast Michigan External Affairs market manager.
To date, MWF has aided over 12,300 women in starting a business. Often, the businesses that Michigan Women Forward assists are just getting started and rely on the organization as a micro fund loan provider to get off the ground. These businesses are from a variety of industries, such as food, logistics and manufacturing, professional services and more.
"With donors like Comerica that support our mission, we can empower female business owners and make sure they get the support they need, particularly during this time of economic hardship," said Alexis Dishman, MWF's chief lending officer. "We want to keep these important Michigan businesses alive and well."
About Comerica Bank Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Commercial Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico. Comerica reported total assets of $83.6 billion at Sept. 30, 2020.
About Michigan Women Forward MWF was founded in 1986 by 30 extraordinary visionaries who conceived of an organization that would encourage women to play an active role in philanthropy and governance. Its mission is to transform Michigan to achieve equality and empowerment for women and girls. For more information, visit www.miwf.org.