Recognizing that Main Street is being hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Mastercard committed $250 million over the next five years to support small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), according to a press release.
The announcement came during the virtual America CARES Small Business Relief event hosted at the White House on Tuesday afternoon (April 7).
The New York-based credit issuer pledged to help defend businesses and their employees through free cyber vulnerability assessments and identity theft protection for the 28 million SMBs eligible to participate in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
“When our small businesses suffer, our nation suffers, so it is incumbent upon all to ensure that we’re supporting the businesses who are the lifeblood of our economy and pillars of our communities,” said Mastercard President Michael Miebach in the release. “We are leveraging our network, insights, technology and partnerships to deliver the resources small business owners need now to help them sustain their business as they quickly adapt to a new way of operating and evolved customer needs.”
Mastercard said it will also provide U.S. SMB owners access to its Local Market Intelligence solution, which provides customer data to business owners to help them understand consumer spending trends in their communities.
The company’s $250 million commitment includes a variety of tools to support the financial health of SMBs and their workers, Mastercard said.
The programs are free for three months.
“This crisis has been devastating to millions of small businesses, and I applaud the quick action by the administration and private sector to provide assistance during this unprecedented time,” said Hector Barreto, Latino Coalition chairman and former U.S. Small Business Administrator, in the release. “It’s great to see companies like Mastercard leveraging their assets, technologies and reach to provide small businesses with tools that they need to secure their business and focus on their future. I hope this serves as inspiration for others to do the same.”
Carolyn Rodz, founder and CEO of Hello Alice, a New York-based free platform that guides business owners to grow their companies, said navigating the pandemic will take fast-acting, collaborative decisive support from the private and public sectors to solve these challenges.
“The challenges facing small business owners right now are many, including keeping their business afloat while, in many instances, supporting their employees through this crisis,” she said in the release.
This is not the first time Mastercard has dug into its pocket to support SMBs. In 2017, Mastercard committed $500 million to create the Mastercard Impact Fund.