Several campaigns have been developed to bring aid to Black and Brown company owners around the country. The move comes at a time when the pandemic's impacts begin to persist. One of them is a project led by Siebert Williams Shank & Co, a full-service investment banking and financial management firm.
The pandemic exacerbated the social barriers that entrepreneurs of color encounter.
Although Black-owned companies were struck the most during the early stages of the Paycheck Protection Program, the research found that they earned fewer loans.
CNBC reports that between February and April 2020, 41% of Black-owned companies closed due to the public health crisis.
Last year, the financial services company launched the Clear Vision impact Fund, which has secured funding commitments from Microsoft, Apple, Comcast, eBay, and Constellation Brands.
Each company has made a substantial financial investment to promote social equality and equal opportunity.
Small companies that staff, educate, and serve minority and underserved populations and the residents who live and work in those communities will benefit from the funds.
The initiative would not only assist local companies in thriving by working with the government. It would also assist by expanding those companies from their immediate vicinity outwards into other locations.
According to Mike Cavanagh, the Clear Vision Impact Fund, Comcast's chief financial officer, offered an incentive that was too tempting to give up.
“Suzanne Shank, Chris Williams, and their team have built an extraordinary forum to bring urgent and much-needed funding to minority-owned companies located in underserved markets at a vulnerable point,” Cavanagh said in a statement. “As our business aims to expand its efforts to combat socioeconomic injustice, we expect that our $25 million investment in the Clear Vision Impact Fund and our continued great relationship with Siebert Williams Shank & Co. can have a positive impact on minority neighborhoods; nationwide.”
According to Apple Vice President and Corporate Treasurer Gary Wipfler, the Clear Vision Impact Fund will have more opportunities for those who have great ideas but lack the means to see them through. "Funding minority-owned businesses is critical to ensuring future economic growth and job opportunities through neighborhoods nationally,"
Wipfler said. “Apple is proud to be a member of the Clear Vision Impact Fund, and we admire their attempts to close the gap by expanding economic opportunity.”