The health crisis has disproportionately impacted people and communities of color. These challenges have extended to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) small business owners.
Comcast California is donating $350,000 in cash and in-kind support to Opportunity Fund to provide microloans and wraparound services such as marketing, branding and financial services for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People Of Color)-owned small businesses.
In addition to providing financial support for BIPOC small businesses in the Bay Area, Comcast will produce PSAs (public service announcements) to promote the fund and feature microloan recipients. The PSAs will air on Comcast networks including Telemundo and NBC Bay Area. Small business owners will also receive help building and improving their online presence, via experts who can assist with digital infrastructure, e-commerce, social media and other strategies.
The health crisis has disproportionately impacted people and communities of color and they are also suffering greater impacts from the social injustice in our country. These challenges have extended to BIPOC small business owners as well, in some cases threatening their very survival. This is disturbing because small businesses account for 44% of all U.S. economic activity, create two-thirds of all net-new U.S. jobs and provide 49% of private sector employment. (Source: Small Business Administration).
“Small businesses create jobs, drive innovation and fuel competition. They are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. And while small business owners are among the most agile, tenacious and resilient individuals out there, their businesses – their livelihoods – have been challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic in unprecedented, unimaginable ways,” said John Gauder, Senior Vice President, Comcast California. “We have come to rely on these small businesses for so much. Now, when times are tough, we want them to know they can rely on us to get through this crisis.”
“Opportunity Fund has a proven track record of success, helping small businesses by providing micro loans that generate macro impact for over 25 years,” said CEO Luz Urrutia. “Our mission—to drive economic mobility—is part of the fight against systemic inequities, including racism. We must do that work with greater speed, unyielding commitment, and increasing courage. And it will take building partnerships on a massive scale. 2.2 million – 15% – of the nation’s small businesses closed throughout the spring and summer due to COVID19. Minority-owned businesses bore the brunt of the pain, with more than 26% of Black, 19% of LatinX and 21% of Asian-American-owned businesses closing, a reflection of longstanding biases in our financial system leaving minority-owned businesses undercapitalized and with fewer resources. We are deeply grateful to Comcast for supporting our efforts in California.”