BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF ARIZONA COMMITS $5 MILLION TO CHICANOS POR LA CAUSA TO PROVIDE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR ARIZONA SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
PHOENIX – May 18, 2020 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) is committing $5 million to Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) to provide loans through their lending division Prestamos CDFI (Prestamos) to assist Arizona small business owners whose businesses have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This collaboration will help CPLC distribute loans to small business owners through the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
“We are hearing from small business owners, and we see how hard they are working to protect their businesses and keep their employees safe,” says Pam Kehaly, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. “We serve thousands of small businesses and as we continue to assist Arizonans through this global pandemic, we want to be a part of the solution to help small business owners continue to serve Arizona, provide jobs, and help rebuild our local economy.”
The $5 million in funding from BCBSAZ will enable CPLC Prestamos, a Community Development Financial Institution, to offer additional PPP loans to Arizona businesses to support their employees. To date, Prestamos has been able to support 321 businesses with more than $11 million in PPP funding, preserving 1,615 jobs. Prestamos is an SBA-approved lender and offers high-quality lending and consulting services for business owners, helping to create financial stability and job opportunities for communities most in need since 1980.
“Small businesses are hurting, and it’s creating a significant ripple effect. If an employer is unable to meet payroll, families are unable to put food on the table, bills are unable to be paid and the local economy suffers,” said David Adame, president and CEO of CPLC. “While many small businesses in the state have been denied access to emergency capital, we’re grateful that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona is partnering with Chicanos Por La Causa to provide additional resources that will allow small business owners to continue serving our communities.”
Prestamos is an approved lender for the federal PPP and will issue funds backed by BCBSAZ to qualifying applicants in Arizona who meet the PPP’s criteria and eligibility. Qualifying companies with less than 500 employees can apply for a loan to assist with payroll, rent and utilities to support their business through the COVID-19 pandemic. For more details on eligibility and to apply, visit prestamosloans.org/ppp.
CPLC has partnered with BCBSAZ for more than 20 years. While the organization was founded in Arizona, it is one of the largest Hispanic nonprofits in the country, helping to promote stronger, healthier communities across the Southwest. CPLC empowers lives by delivering a comprehensive range of bilingual and bicultural services in health and human services, housing, education, and economic development.
This commitment is the latest in a series of steps BCBSAZ has taken to assist Arizonans during the COVID-19 pandemic, including small business owners. For more information about how BCBSAZ is helping the Arizona community during the global pandemic, please visit azblue.com/coronavirus.
About Chicanos Por La Causa
Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. (CPLC) is a community development corporation that provides services in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. Since 1969, CPLC has been changing lives by developing self-sufficiency and instilling empowerment in those we serve. Our focus areas are economic development, education, integrated health & human services, and housing. CPLC provides a better life through offering business and employment opportunities; ensuring everyone has the solid foundation of an education; providing hope through a pathway of recovery, restoration, and resiliency; and ensuring that a safe, secure, affordable home is available to every individual we serve. Today, we have 48 programs and services, nearly 1,000 employees, and 110 offices, making CPLC the third-largest Hispanic nonprofit in the nation and the number one charity in Arizona. For more information, please visit www.CPLC.org.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) is committed to helping Arizonans get healthier faster and stay healthier longer. With a focus on connecting people with the care they need, BCBSAZ offers health insurance and related services to more than 1.7 million customers. Through advanced clinical programs and community outreach, BCBSAZ is inspiring health in Arizona. BCBSAZ, a not-for-profit company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The company, and its subsidiaries, employ more than 2,400 people in its Phoenix, Chandler, Flagstaff, and Tucson offices. To learn more, visit azblue.com.
# # #