As many Black business owners continue to face financial hurdles amid the pandemic, more major companies are pledging their support through funding programs and ongoing initiatives.
This week, American Express announced the launch of a newly formed group called the Coalition to Back Black Businesses. With the announcement came a $10 million commitment to fund a grant program in support of small Black business recovery in America over the next four years, a press release reports.
In a one-of-a-kind collaboration with four major Black chambers — U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., National Business League, National Black Chamber of Commerce and Walker’s Legacy — American Express plans to support efforts to help get Black businesses back in good financial standing to keep them afloat.
Black communities across the U.S. have been disproportionately impacted by the effects of the pandemic, with Black businesses facing the most trouble.
“U.S. Black-owned small businesses were twice as likely to close during the early months of the pandemic compared to small businesses nationally,” the press release states.
As part of its long-standing commitment to marginalized communities and small businesses, American Express has utilized its network and bandwidth to support the recovery process for small Black-owned businesses.
“Small businesses play a crucial role in our communities, and when the pandemic hit, Black-owned small businesses were hit the hardest,” said Anré Williams — Group President of American Express’ Global Merchant & Network Services — in a statement. “The Coalition is aimed to provide eligible Black-owned small businesses with much-needed capital to help recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic and help them rebuild their businesses.”
In addition to their latest initiative, the Coalition to Back Black Businesses will also provide business owners with additional funding, training, and helpful resources to empower those Black businesses in U.S. communities who have long struggled with economic growth.
From now until Sept. 21, eligible small Black business owners are able to apply for the company’s grant program to receive up to $5,000 in funding.
For more information about eligibility and the grant program process, click here.