PayPal Commits Additional $5 Million to Black-Owned Small Business Grant Program
Even as the first COVID-19 vaccines begin distribution, the pandemic continues to impact millions of Americans. Among those hardest hit are small business owners — with Black business owners being disproportionately affected even among this group. Because of this reality, PayPal has announced that it will fund a grant program for Black-owned businesses with another $5 million.
This $5 million comes in addition to the $10 million the company already pledged to start the PayPal Empowerment Grant program, which itself is just a part of PayPal’s $530 million commitment to supporting minority communities and fighting income inequality. The program was initially launched in partnership with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity back in August and has benefitted 1,167 business owners as they reopen. According to PayPal, these businesses will now have the opportunity to receive additional funding as well as another 250 businesses that have already qualified.
Speaking to why the company decided to pledge more funds to the grant program, PayPal president and CEO Dan Schulman said, “When we made our initial commitment, we understood that decisive action was needed to make progress towards economic equality and closing the racial wealth gap that has persisted for far too long in this country. As we witnessed the outsized and devastating impact of COVID-19 on Black businesses and communities, we knew we had to do our part to increase their opportunity to survive and thrive.” Schulman continued, “With cases of COVID-19 surging and the timing of a stimulus uncertain, we are bolstering this support, which is critical to sustaining these businesses and building a path to inclusive recovery.”
Additionally, Association for Enterprise Opportunity president and CEO Connie Evans said of the renewed investment, “Small businesses continue to face extreme hardship and uncertainty during this time, and PayPal is doubling down on its support for those businesses that are most vulnerable. We are proud to remain their partner in this important work creating access to both capital and resources that will help Black-owned businesses navigate this crisis and support their long-term success.”
PayPal isn’t the only major company that’s aimed to assist Black and minority-owned businesses amid the pandemic. Notably, American Express formed the Coalition to Back Black Businesses Grant Program in collaboration with the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the National Business League, the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., and Walker’s Legacy earlier this year. Additionally, last month the card company announced the 100 Black women selected to participate in their “100 for 100” program, which will see these entrepreneurs receive $25,000 in grant money in addition to business education and mentorship.
While there is seemingly now light at the end of the tunnel for the pandemic itself, the challenges that small business owners currently face could last for months or years to come. Thus, it’s encouraging to see larger companies re-upping their efforts to help entrepreneurs. Even though these grant programs may be small in scope, all things considered, every bit helps for small business owners in need.