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Citizens Bank Foundation announces Growing Communities initiative

Program will provide $120,000 in grants for Olneyville revitalization efforts

Deadline for applications is March 15.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (January 23, 2013) – The Citizens Bank Foundation today announced a $120,000 grant to expand its Growing Communities initiative to the Olneyville neighborhood in Providence. The initiative has been successfully implemented in the bank’s Ohio, Michigan and New Hampshire markets. Through the Growing Communities initiative, the Citizens Bank Foundation will partner with the Local Support Initiatives Corporation (LISC) to invest $60,000 into current neighborhood programs and to award $60,000 in grants, ranging from $2,000 to $15,000 each, for projects that contribute to the resiliency of the Olneyville neighborhood by fostering growth. Applications may include efforts for neighborhood revitalization, support for local economic activity for small businesses and job creation, and other creative and collaborative responses to the needs of Olneyville to make it a better place to live and work. The application deadline is March 15, 2013.

“The Growing Communities initiative reflects our company’s belief in contributing to the health of our neighborhoods. This program will support community-based economic development activities in Olneyville,” said Ned Handy, President, Citizens Bank, Rhode Island. “We look forward to investing in partnerships that have a strong impact on the neighborhood, spur additional investment and demonstrate measurable and meaningful results.”

“This significant donation that Citizens Bank is making to Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood will help transform one of our city’s busiest neighborhood centers,” said Mayor Angel Taveras. “It is a demonstration of responsible corporate citizenship. I thank Citizens for its commitment to Providence.”

“LISC Rhode Island is thrilled to partner with Citizens Bank on the Growing Communities initiative,” said Jeanne Cola, Executive Director of LISC RI. “This initiative proves that working collaboratively will help us continue to cultivate strong, healthy neighborhoods. Investing in the Olneyville neighborhood is good business, and we are proud to leverage our investment with our partners.”

Growing Communities is designed to promote and invest in neighborhood revitalization based on the existing assets of a community. These investments may support small business, workforce development and job creation, or activities to encourage patronage of local businesses and to make an area more livable, including façade and block beautification, park clean-ups, public art enhancements, access to local farm systems and nutritious food, and providing financial education and health information resources. The initiative was originally launched in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2010 by Citizens’ sister brand, Charter One Bank.

Projects eligible for the Growing Communities initiative must meet the following criteria:

  • Be focused on improving the quality of Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood, and
  • Establish clear goals that will demonstrate measureable outcomes.

Priority consideration may be given to projects that serve low- or moderate-income individuals, that strongly impact a community in need, that foster collaboration with other nonprofit partners and that demonstrate a plan for long-term sustainability.

Interested applicants must complete the application and narrative located at http://www.lisc.org/rhode_island/ with the project/program title Growing Communities.

The deadline for applications is March 15, 2013. For questions about the program or the application process, please contact Amie Kershaw at amie.kershaw@rbscitizens.com.

About the Citizens Bank Foundation
Citizens Bank Foundation is a subsidiary of the Citizens Charitable Foundation, which is a charitable contributions vehicle of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc., RBS Citizens, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. The foundation’s support is focused on human services, affordable housing and economic development. RBSCFG’s website is citizensbank.com.

About the Local Initiatives Support Corporation
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is dedicated to helping local partners transform distressed neighborhoods into resilient and sustainable communities of choice and opportunity. LISC mobilizes corporate, government and philanthropic support to invest in locally defined community development projects and activities.

At Rhode Island LISC, we are committed to building strong neighborhoods and healthy communities where individuals, businesses and families can thrive. Rhode Island LISC’s website is: http://www.lisc.org/rhode_island/