Funds will provide immediate financial relief, sustained support and long-term investment to expand economic opportunity for Black and underrepresented minority businesses and communities
Submitted by PayPal
PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) on June 11, 2020 announced a $530 million commitment to support Black and minority-owned businesses and communities in the U.S., especially those hardest hit by the pandemic, to help address economic inequality. As part of its investment, the company is bolstering its internal programs to further increase diversity, equity and inclusion within the PayPal community.
"For far too long, Black people in America have faced deep-seated injustice and systemic economic inequality. Black lives matter and we need to drive transformative change. We must take decisive action to close the racial wealth gap that sustains this profound inequity," said Dan Schulman, president and CEO, PayPal. "PayPal is uniquely positioned to help in this area, and we are committed to doing our part to address the unacceptable racial divide by advancing a more just economy and society. We've listened to leaders in the Black community about the challenges facing Black business owners and the support and investments needed to sustain Black-owned businesses and create long-term economic opportunity. The holistic set of initiatives we are implementing are designed to help address the immediate crisis and set the foundation for sustained engagement and progress towards economic equality and social justice."
The commitment includes short-term, medium-term, and long-term investments in the community:
$10 million fund for empowerment grants to Black-owned businesses impacted by COVID-19 or civil unrest. These grants will provide direct support to business owners to cover expenses related to stabilizing and reopening their businesses. The fund will be managed in partnership with Association for Enterprise Opportunity, a leading national nonprofit expanding economic opportunity for Black entrepreneurs through its Tapestry Project. Interested businesses can apply for a grant at aeoworks.org/paypalgrant/.
$5 million fund for program grants and employee matching gifts for PayPal's nonprofit community partners that are working to strengthen Black business owners by providing them with microloans, technical assistance, information, mentoring and access to digital solutions to speed their recovery from the impact of the pandemic. Local partners are best positioned to know the needs of their communities and these grants are intended to catalyze and further empower the necessary work they are doing to sustain Black-owned businesses. Initial organizations receiving grants through the fund include Association for Enterprise Opportunity, Baltimore Business Lending, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Micro Finance Group, Expanding Black Business Credit Initiative, Kiva, MORTAR, Nebraska Enterprise Fund, Opportunity Fund, Rising Tide Capital, Start Small Think Big, Walker's Legacy Foundation and Women's Opportunity Resource Center. As part of this the company will expand the PayPal Gives Employee Matching Gifts program. PayPal will match $2 for every $1 employees donate and $10 for every volunteer hour dedicated to racial and economic justice efforts in local communities, up to $500,000.
$500 million commitment to create an economic opportunity fund to support and strengthen Black and underrepresented minority businesses and communities over the long term, and designed to help drive financial health, access and generational wealth creation. This initiative will include bolstering the company's relationships with community banks and credit unions serving underrepresented minority communities, as well as investing directly into Black and minority-led startups and minority-focused investment funds. Startups and investment funds are invited to express interest to the PayPal Ventures team here.
"AEO advocates for economic inclusion and works to create transformational change in the marketplace for small businesses," said Connie Evans, president and CEO, Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO). "Now, more than ever, it's critical to invest in Black-owned businesses, create a more equitable system and break through the barriers that have historically challenged Black business ownership and wealth creation."
PayPal is committing $15 million to strengthen its internal diversity and inclusion programs to foster greater awareness, build equity, and support recruiting, hiring and career advancement of Black and minority employees. This also includes increased funding for the company's employee resource groups as well as supporting community partners through pro bono work and secondments by its employees.
These initiatives build on the extensive financial health and small business empowerment programs PayPal already supports. They will add a particular emphasis on Black-owned businesses, sharpen the focus of that work, accelerate the deployment of PayPal's resources and fuel employee engagement. PayPal previously announced the company was donating $500,000 to organizations doing meaningful work to build toward racial equality, healing and reconciliation, including the Chicago Urban League, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Minneapolis African American Leadership Forum, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, National Urban League, Repairers of the Breach and The Empowerment Network.
PayPal has remained at the forefront of the digital payment revolution for more than 20 years. By leveraging technology to make financial services and commerce more convenient, affordable, and secure, the PayPal platform is empowering more than 300 million consumer and merchant accounts in more than 200 markets to join and thrive in the global economy. For more information, visit paypal.com.
About Association for Enterprise Opportunity
AEO is the leading voice of innovation for microbusiness and microfinance. We create economic opportunity for underserved entrepreneurs throughout the United States. We engineer transformational change through Research, Incubation, Convening & Advocacy to foster a robust and inclusive marketplace. For more information, visit aeoworks.org.
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