In Variety’s 2020 Power of Woman issue, Janelle Monáe voices her support for LISC’s Covid-19 response efforts, specifically for the Small Business Relief Grant program. As Monáe notes, “96% of those grants are going to women-, LGBTQ-, minority- and veteran-owned small businesses.”
LISC's CEO Maurice A. Jones is quoted in a Wall Street Journal article on the challenges of ensuring PPP loans are accessible to entrepreneurs of color and those in underinvested communities. Data is a key to understanding who's benefiting, says Jones, and LISC's PPP program has targeted underserved borrowers who may not have traditional banking relationships.
This week, 200 more small businesses from underinvested communities across urban and rural America are receiving grants of up to $10K to help cover payroll, rent and other critical operating costs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. That brings the total number of grantees to 400, all of whom are benefiting from a $7.5 million commitment by Verizon. The twice-weekly Pay It Forward LIVE series will also come to a close on Thursday with a performance by Dave Matthews—the very artist who kicked off the livestream campaign to bring attention (and funding) to the plight of entrepreneurs hit hardest by the crisis.
As part of its partnership with LISC to provide grants to small businesses in historically underserved communities, Verizon has added another $2.5 million to their Small Business Recovery Fund, bringing the program total to $7.5 million. That means some 750 entrepreneurs across the country will have resources to keep their businesses, their employees and their communities going through the pandemic and beyond.
In an op-ed for the New York Times, former U.S. Treasury secretary and LISC board chair Robert E. Rubin urges swift and intensive action to stimulate the economy, with special emphasis on extending credit to minority- and women-owned businesses in underinvested communities, the very ones most imperiled by the Covid-19 crisis.