PayPal Announces Additional $5 Million Grant Program for Black-Owned Businesses as COVID-19 Crisis Continues

1/6/2021, noon
PayPal Announces Additional $5 Million Grant Program for
Black-Owned Businesses as COVID-19 Crisis Continues

     PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) recently announced an additional $5 million grant program that will further the company’s support for Black-owned businesses in the U.S., which have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new grant program is an extension of the $10 million PayPal Empowerment Grant program for Black-owned businesses that PayPal announced in June as part of the company’s $530 million commitment to support Black-owned businesses, strengthen minority communities and fight economic inequality.
     In August, PayPal, in partnership with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), awarded $10 million in grants to 1,167 Black-owned businesses across the country to help them stabilize and reopen. These businesses will have the opportunity to receive additional grant funding, along with approximately 250 additional Black-owned businesses that qualified for funding.
     The new grant program is coming at a time when small businesses are struggling to stay afloat. A recent study found that close to 40% of Black small business owners who received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans have already been forced to lay off employees or cut wages due to their PPP loans being exhausted.
     “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,” said Connie Evans, president and CEO, AEO. “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.”
     In addition to the grant, PayPal and AEO have partnered with Deloitte, Facebook, Guidehouse, Mastercard and Qualtrics to offer all awardees capacity-building programming that features business education webinars, coaching and network building opportunities designed to give business owners the tools they need to not only sustain, but grow their business.
     Since June, PayPal has continued to fulfill its $530 million commitment that was designed to provide immediate assistance to Black-owned businesses, while setting the foundation for sustained engagement and progress towards economic equality and social justice. Most recently, PayPal invested $50 million in the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Black Economic Development Fund. It is the largest single investment in the fund designed to support Black-led banks, institutions and businesses and expand economic opportunity in the communities they serve. Other actions include:
     Supporting Black-Owned Businesses: PayPal awarded $5 million in grants to 20 nonprofit community partners to support their work sustaining Black-owned businesses across the U.S. in their recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Investing in Community Banks and Credit Unions: PayPal deposited $50 million in Optus Bank, a Black-owned bank based in South Carolina dedicated to providing equal access to capital and financial services for minority communities.
     Investing in Minority-Focused Investment Funds: PayPal is investing $50 million in eight early-stage, Black and Latinx-led venture capital funds to bring more equity to the fundraising process.