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JPMorgan Chase Throws Detroit a Lifeline

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- JPMorgan Chase (JPM) hopes its $100 million injection into the Detroit economy will strengthen the community and spur investment in the ailing city.

The U.S. bank said on Wednesday that it plans to invest $100 million over five years in loans and grants. The funding will help the city's redevelopment efforts by speeding up blight removal, helping train city residents for new jobs and making mortgage money available for home loans, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"We invest and develop communities around the world. And we've been doing this since our heritage started 200 years ago," JPMorgan Chase's CEO Jamie Dimon said on The Today Show. "So that's what banks do. They do it commercially. They do community development."

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder hopes JPMorgan Chase's investment will spur further outside investment in the city.

"I think it really helps, and it sends a great message that people see significant value in investing in Detroit and that there's a lot of upsides," Snyder told USA Today.

"Chase's commitment might help nudge state lawmakers to vote on the rescue plan for Detroit. That plan would see the state commit the equivalent of $350 million over 20 years toward a 'grand bargain' to shore up Detroit pensions and protect artwork at the Detroit Institute for Arts from sale," he added.

Detroit -- which declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy in July 2013 -- is the largest U.S. city to seek bankruptcy protection. The city has a debt load of around $19 billion and an unemployment rate of almost 14%, which is more than double the national average, and so growth prospects seem dim.

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