Lowe’s Donates $30 Million in Grants to Support Minority Businesses Affected by the Covid-19

Home improvement giant, Lowe’s announced on Monday that minority business owners could access emergency relief grants within a range of $5,000 to $20,000. Applications were accepted through until 11:59 pm ET, on August 3.

In addition to the $30 million funding in grants, Lowe’s is giving an extra $25 million to rural communities affected by the pandemic. In total, Lowe’s will be giving out $55 million grants to small businesses and small communities impacted by the Covid-19. The grants will be made available through the non-profit, Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

“Having grown up in a small town, I have first-hand knowledge of the extraordinary challenges small business owners in rural communities across the country face during the pandemic,” Lowe’s president and CEO Marvin Ellison said in a statement. “We also remain committed to supporting minority small businesses that are being disproportionately impacted.”

In a survey published by Main Street America, about 7.5 million small businesses are at risk of closing permanently. The struggle is more for small businesses in such difficult times, especially those in rural communities that often face challenges such as easy access to bank credit, capital, and other supports. According to another data from the National Bureau of Economic Research, about 41% of Black-owned businesses had already closed down due to the Covid-19 pandemic since May 2020.

“We cannot solve this need alone, and I encourage other companies to step up and make a difference in supporting small businesses, which are the cornerstone of our economy. Together, we can make a meaningful difference, especially for those in historically disinvested communities and areas hit hardest by Covid-19,” Ellison said.

Much attention is given to small businesses because all across the United States, small businesses form the economic backbone of communities. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has caused many small businesses to force shut down due to financial pressure. Even small businesses that can operate remotely still saw a drop in revenue.

With support from big firms like Lowe’s, some small businesses will be able to survive the heat. The Lowe’s-LISC partnership states that the company will “deploy grants to help them [small businesses] navigate the intricate web of public and private resources now available.”

Lowe’s also plans to host drive-in movies over the next three weekends this summer, in North Carolina and Georgia. The goal is to support local small businesses. Interested customers can reserve a spot or find out more about the drive-in movies at Lowes.com/DIY.

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