Lowe's Companies, Inc. opened its inaugural phase of grant applications to offer relief to minority-owned businesses as part of its $25 million commitment announced in the past. The effort comes at a time when small companies work to stay in business and pay their workers amid the economic damage that the coronavirus caused, according to an announcement.
Lowe's said its contribution will back emergency grants in areas that have been traditionally underserved in addition to other forms of help to assist those who own companies work through hurdles during the health crisis.
Lowe's President and CEO Marvin R. Ellison said in the announcement, “Lowe’s has been committed to helping minority small business owners — the very backbone of our economy — rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating impact.” Ellison continued, “Helping people make their homes better extends beyond our walls and into our neighborhoods, communities and country.”
The process of reviewing the applications for grants will be managed by the biggest community development organization in the country, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The group has raised over $17 million for coronavirus rapid relief grants and assisted 955 entities get a hold of $91 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans.
Lowe’s said the news is the next phase of its $50 million commitment to help out communities amid the health crisis, with the inclusion of offering over $10 million in essential items for medical workers. The efforts also include giving minority companies that are opening again personal protective equipment (PPE) and buying flowers worth $1 million from small growers for contribution to senior living complexes for Mother’s Day.
In separate news, Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, announced in May that the social media company would be awarding $20 million in grants to American companies owned by minorities, veterans and women. The funds would come out of the $100 million small business grant initiative of Facebook.