Wish — one of the largest and fastest-growing global e-commerce platforms — has made a full commitment to Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in the form of a $2 million fund.

Wish’s Local Empowerment Program is dedicated to supporting independent Black businesses financially during this time and has shared that it plans to distribute grants to nearly 4,000 Wish Local small business partners.

“This is something we’ve wanted to do for some time but the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and the Black Lives Matter movement has really fast-tracked our mission,” said Hassan Yahya, VP of Experience at Wish, in a statement. “The Wish Local Empowerment Program provides a starting point for us to support independent, black-owned businesses who are often denied government aid and lack other financial resources to fall back on.”

He also shared that “by joining the Wish Local network, we can help black-owned businesses tap into the growing demand for e-commerce, as well as diversify their core revenue streams. We really hope we can make a difference and create a lasting impact on the equality and diversity of US businesses.”

According to a news release, eligible business owners can apply for grants of up to $2,000 to help rebuild or recharge their businesses. Those funds can be used for a wide range of business needs, including workforce, operating costs, inventory, and marketing.

The news of this grant program arrives as reports show Black-owned businesses have been hit the hardest by COVID-19.

“The challenges that face Black-owned businesses in the US look likely to prevail well into next year,” a news release states.

The e-commerce platform’s fund — which is financed by Wish Local, a partnership program between Wish and a global network of brick-and-mortar stores, is allowing all business owners to apply for the program based on the following criteria:

      • 100 percent Black-owned or majority Black-owned
      • Brick-and-mortar store located within the U.S.
      • 20 or fewer full-time employees
      • Annual revenue of less than $1 million in the last twelve months

As part of its latest initiative, Wish has also partnered with Official Black Wall Street and the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce to help spread the word about the program through their networks.

Wish’s grant program supports its ongoing efforts to expand its merchant footprint in North America and Europe and, as a result, help revitalize local communities who have also been largely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on the Wish Local Empowerment Grant, click here.