The Baltimore Times is among the latest Black-owned businesses to have received a generous $10,000 grant from PayPal. Earlier this summer, the Internet giant issued a $530 million pledge to provide support for Black-owned businesses.
“I’m grateful for the PayPal grant for $10,000, which is intended to help you pay your mortgage, taxes, and other bills,” said Baltimore Times Publisher Joy Bramble. “The grant came at the right time for us.”
In partnership with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), the PayPal Empowerment Grants for Black Business Program awarded up to $10,000 to more than 1,000 African American-owned businesses affected by COVID-19 and civil unrest.
The funds are earmarked to help companies avert layoffs, repair any property damage, cover operational costs, purchase new products and services, and assist with marketing.
“We recognize the critical challenge of access to capital that Black-owned businesses face.
Please know that this grant program is part of a larger commitment from PayPal to invest in Black and minority- owned businesses and communities,” PayPal officials said in a statement.
In June, PayPal announced a $530 million pledge to provide support for Black-owned businesses and start-ups. Part of the pledge included the $10,000 grants to 1,000 businesses.
“For far too long, Black people in America have faced deep-seated injustice and systemic economic inequality,” Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal stated. “Black lives matter and we need to drive transformative change. We must take decisive action to close the racial wealth gap that sustains this profound inequity.”
Schulman continued: “PayPal is uniquely positioned to help in this area, and we are committed to doing our part to address the unacceptable racial divide by advancing a more just economy and society.
“We’ve listened to leaders in the Black community about the challenges facing Black business owners and the support and investments needed to sustain Black-owned businesses and create long-term economic opportunity.”
The company’s commitment includes short-term, medium-term, and long-term investments in the community, including:
$10 million fund for empowerment grants to Black-owned businesses impacted by COVID-19 or civil unrest. These grants will provide direct support to business owners to cover expenses related to stabilizing and reopening their businesses.
$5 million fund for program grants and employee matching gifts for PayPal’s nonprofit community partners that are working to strengthen Black business owners by providing them with microloans, technical assistance, information, mentoring and access to digital solutions to speed their recovery from the impact of the pandemic.
The company said it would expand the PayPal Gives Employee Matching Gifts program. PayPal will match $2 for every $1 employees donate and $10 for every volunteer hour dedicated to racial and economic justice efforts in local communities, up to $500,000.
$500 million commitment to create an economic opportunity fund to support and strengthen Black and underrepresented minority businesses and communities over the long term, and designed to help drive financial health, access and generational wealth creation.
“AEO advocates for economic inclusion and works to create transformational change in the marketplace for small businesses,” said Connie Evans, the president and CEO of AEO. “Now, more than ever, it’s critical to invest in Black-owned businesses, create a more equitable system and break through the barriers that have historically challenged Black business ownership and wealth creation.”
PayPal also is committing $15 million to strengthen its internal diversity and inclusion programs to foster greater awareness, build equity, and support recruiting, hiring and career advancement of Black and minority employees.
These initiatives build on the extensive financial health and small business empowerment programs PayPal already supports.
They will “add a particular emphasis on Black-owned businesses, sharpen the focus of that work, accelerate the deployment of PayPal’s resources and fuel employee engagement,” the company wrote in a news release.