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Jefferson East Business Association receives $25,000 grant, named a Champion in Action in Michigan

DETROIT (January 26, 2011) - Charter One announced today that the Jefferson East Business Association was named the first 2011 Champion in Action® winner in Michigan, in the economic development category. As the beneficiary of this award, JEBA will receive a $25,000 grant and extensive public relations and volunteer support.

JEBA promotes commercial revitalization on Detroit’s Lower Eastside and supports the economic sustainability of the Jefferson East Business District and neighborhood between St. Jean and Alter Road. By identifying barriers to economic development, JEBA increases opportunities for commercial development, establishes mechanisms that ensure the success of entrepreneurs and creates new employment opportunities.  

Recent key economic accomplishments of JEBA include establishing a collaborative initiative dedicated to promoting safety and security in the area through the presence of community patrollers. It is also raising the profile of the district through the annual Jazzin’ on Jefferson street festival that attracted nearly 20,000 attendees in 2010. Through its efforts, JEBA has reduced the vacancy rate by 10 percent and in 2010 facilitated the opening of five new businesses representing more than $4 million in private investment and reached more than 300 individuals through the business resource center. 

“The Jefferson East Business Association is an excellent example of the great things that are happening in Detroit,” said Sandra Pierce, President, Charter One, Michigan. “By providing business resources, JEBA is growing and strengthening the city of Detroit and the State of Michigan.”

The Champions in Action program was launched in November 2005 by Charter One and WXYZ-TV 7 to recognize and support nonprofit organizations that champion change in our communities and work to address the needs of southeast Michigan. The Jefferson East Business Association is the 20th organization to be recognized since the program’s inception.

"WXYZ-TV 7 is proud to partner with Charter One to recognize the meaningful work of the Jefferson East Business Association,” said Eduardo Fernandez, Vice President and General Manager, WXYZ-TV 7. "We congratulate JEBA and look forward to working with them to help raise their profile and that of the City.”

As the 2011 first quarter Champion in Action, the Jefferson East Business Association will receive:
• A $25,000 grant in unrestricted funds from the Charter One Foundation
• Media coverage from WXYZ-TV 7, including public service announcements

• Volunteer support
• Promotional support in all Charter One branches and ATMs throughout Michigan
• Exposure on both Charter One’s and WXYZ-TV 7’s websites

“We are proud to be chosen as a Champion in Action,” said Joshua Elling, Executive Director of JEBA. “It is a privilege to have our program recognized for the positive impact we are having on our community.”

Community leaders and representatives of WXYZ-TV 7 and Charter One comprise a committee which selects a Champion in Action each quarter for its work on a particular social concern. 2011 categories are: Economic Development; Food and Nutrition; Neighborhood Revitalization; and Homelessness.

About Charter One
Charter One is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. It has approximately 370 branches and 610 ATMs. It has 108 branches and 122 ATMs in Michigan. 


RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $140 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I. CFG’s two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).

Jefferson East Business Association (JEBA), a Michigan Non-Profit Corporation, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for both businesses and residents of Detroit’s lower-eastside. JEBA, through its business district improvement services, marketing & outreach efforts, and small business consulting programs, seeks to improve the business climate within the east Jefferson neighborhood and create employment opportunities for area residents. For more information, visit www.jeffersoneast.org.