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Investing in Economic

Discover is committed to improving the financial stability of our customers and communities. We believe everyone should have access to products designed to help them meet their needs. From affordable housing and small business loans to financial literacy programming, we make investments to provide economic development opportunities that build strong financial futures so that all of our communities can thrive.

Bringing Quality Jobs Directly to Communities

One way Discover helps people achieve brighter financial futures is through meaningful job creation. We recognize that traditional corporate site selection has contributed to issues of unequal opportunity in our society, and we want to be part of the solution. We built and opened a new customer care center in the Chatham neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. When the center is fully operational in 2024, it will provide nearly 1,000 full-time jobs to neighborhood and area residents. Discover is prioritizing hiring local talent with more than 80 percent of those currently working at the Center living within a five-mile radius.

Our new center connects with a talented pool of candidates and suppliers. In the first several months of operations, our Chatham center is already exceeding customer-satisfaction goals and performing at an industry-leading level, reinforcing that diversity is one of our greatest assets and that Discover is a place where all individuals can build and advance their careers.

Full-time employees in Chatham receive Discover’s full benefits package, which includes health insurance, a 401k plan, eligibility for 20 days minimum of paid time off, a focus on career development and the opportunity to receive a free college education, effective upon the first day of employment. Our new center in Chatham will have direct and long-term impact on the neighborhood and we hope will serve as a springboard for further economic development in the area. Through our investment, we support local community programs including Social Works and their Summer Youth Program, Teamwork Englewood Youth Programs, Greater Auburn Gresham Healthy Lifestyle Hub program, Girls Like Me, UCAN and others.

Expanding equity and opportunity across Chicago is possible thanks to the investment and support of corporate partners like Discover.

City of Chicago Mayor
Lori Lightfoot

Economic Investments

Supplier Diversity

The supplier partners we choose say a lot about who we are and what we stand for. We are committed to developing a diverse supplier network that reflects the diversity of our customer base—a network more inclusive of businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. These diverse suppliers bring a broader range of backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas that are critical to our long-term success. They drive economic growth and stability in communities, and their partnerships provide us with a more competitive, sustainable, and flexible supply base. In turn, as a leading financial institution, through our small business partnerships, we can effect systemic change by promoting economic growth across groups who have historically been economically disadvantaged.

In 2021, we spent $81 million with diverse-owned businesses, increasing direct spend by more than 35% year-over-year; we also committed an additional $14 million to Chicago-based minority and women-owned businesses to support the buildout of our new Chatham Customer Care Center. Our goal is to reach $125 million in direct spend with diverse suppliers by 2025. Additionally, Discover’s spent more than $85 million in support of small businesses.

We encourage diverse suppliers to complete and submit a profile through our Supplier Registration Portal. Registered suppliers gain access to a database reviewed by our sourcing team when bid opportunities present themselves. This allows us to procure goods and services while providing equal opportunity for diverse suppliers who compete for our business.

92% increase in spending
with Veteran-owned

80% increase in spending
with Minority-owned

24% increase in spending
with women owned

1 Minority–owned defined as businesses owned by one or more People of Color.

Small Business Financing

Discover has a longstanding partnership with the National Development Council (NDC), which shares our mission to build bright financial futures for businesses and communities. In 2021 we provided the NDC with a $10.5 million increase to its Delaware small business loan fund, bringing our total commitment to financing small business with NDC to $21.8 million. Discover has partnered with economic development authorities, nonprofits, and foundations to provide capital to NDC’s community development lender, Grow America Fund (GAF), for below-market Small Business Administration (SBA) 7a loans to small businesses in economically depressed areas. These investments launched the following economic development loan programs:

spent with diverse
owned businesses
More than
increase in
spending from
previous year

Excite Sussex:
A $16M
loan portfolio to
attract, retain, and grow
light manufacturing
businesses in Sussex
County, Delaware.

Grow Wilmington:
A $4M
loan portfolio to
attract, retain and
grow businesses in
the City of

Grow Delaware:
A $9M
loan portfolio to
retain and grow businesses in the
State of Delaware.

1 Minority–owned defined as businesses owned by one or more People of Color.

Affordable Housing

Safe and affordable housing is essential to building healthy families and communities and continues to be a major focus for Discover. The lack of adequate affordable housing in many areas across the U.S. has a host of negative effects on communities as housing cost-burdened families experience greater stress relating to food security, health care, retirement, transportation, and overall social stability. Research shows that increasing access to affordable housing bolsters economic growth and is the most cost-effective strategy for reducing childhood poverty and increasing economic mobility in the U.S. Addressing the affordable housing crisis is an important way that Discover helps promote brighter futures.

Our efforts center on creating and preserving affordable housing opportunities for both homeownership and rental opportunities. We focus these efforts in the Mid-Atlantic region and Delaware, the home of our retail bank.

Low Income Housing Tax Credit Investing

Discover supports multifamily rental housing developments that utilize the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), a federal program that issues tax credits to state governments, which then award the credits to private developers through a competitive process, for construction or rehabilitation of affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income households. Discover invested $58 million in LIHTC properties in 2021 and $63 million in 2020 to support the construction and rehabilitation of 15 affordable housing developments.

First Time Homebuyer Mortgage Program

Our longstanding partnership with the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) is another key part of our efforts to promote affordable homeownership.

Together we help low- and moderate-income families purchase their first home and advance up the property ladder through products and services that include:

  • Access to down payment and settlement cost assistance.
  • Low fixed-rate mortgages.
  • Home for Grads, a reduced interest rate program for recent college graduates.
  • Financial coaching to help homebuyers improve their credit and become mortgage ready.

Since 2014, our partnership has helped more than 2,300 Delaware homebuyers purchase a home through more than $385 million in affordable home mortgages.

Access to Financial Services

Discover has been a supporter of the minority-owned Stepping Stones Community Federal Credit Union, a minority depository institution (MDI) since it received its charter in 2011. Stepping Stones is a designated low-income credit union in Wilmington that provides financial education and savings accounts. Through our partnership, Discover has helped Stepping Stones build new products and account features including access to the largest ATM network in Wilmington at no cost. This access eliminates the need for high-cost check cashers and pre-paid debit cards, helping people join the financial mainstream. New features introduced in 2021 include a mobile app, debit card, and an education loan product for trade certifications.

Stepping Stones is staffed by volunteers and employees of the Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council (DCRAC). Discover granted the DCRAC $250,000 in 2021 to launch its debit card and new mobile app.

Discover also provided $420,000 to Zip Code Wilmington over the past two years to partner with Stepping Stones on the development of their education loan product for students seeking to become software developers or data engineers. Students, on average, more than double their annual income. The education loan program enables students to borrow the tuition at reasonable rates, defer repayment until after they are employed and build credit. Students also receive financial education from DCRAC.