Songstress Beyoncé is furthering her efforts to support Black-owned businesses that have been significantly impacted by the public health crisis. According to Billboard, she recently donated $1 million to provide grants for Black entrepreneurs whose businesses are on the verge of shuttering.
The donation was made through her BeyGOOD foundation. In July, the philanthropic organization teamed up with the NAACP for the creation of an initiative dubbed the Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund. Through the fund, $10,000 grants were awarded to Black-owned businesses in Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and New York. A report released by the New York Fed revealed that 41 percent of Black-owned businesses across the country closed between February and April. When it came to securing Paycheck Protection Program loans, only 12 percent of Black and Latinx business owners who applied received the amount they asked for.
Cognizant of the alarming statistics, the Houston native and the civil rights organization wanted to address barriers that stood in the way of access to PPP funding and capital. “Over the last couple of months, the pandemic and outpours for justice throughout the Black community and across the country has been felt in every imaginable area of our lives, including in how our local businesses continue to operate,” read a statement released by the NAACP. “The challenges of Black business owners navigating in the climate cannot be understated.”
Several influential individuals across different industries are leading efforts to support Black-owned businesses. In July, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation purchased full-page newspaper ads to promote businesses in San Francisco, Detroit, Houston, and Washington D.C. Tennis star and businesswoman Serena Williams donated proceeds from her jewelry line to a fund created to provide grants for Black business owners.