Google.org has announced a $10 million pledge aimed at helping low-income and minority entrepreneurs launch businesses.
According to Google, almost half of all libraries in the United States provide assistance to individuals looking to start businesses of their own. To help libraries expand those efforts, the first grant awarded through the initiative will go to the American Library Association, which is working to scale the creation of entrepreneurship centers in ten libraries and help libraries across the country develop new offerings for small business owners. The funding also will support ALA's efforts to create a guide for libraries developing their own entrepreneurship programs.
The pledge was announced in conjunction with the release of the report Small Business Search Trends in 2019, which found that Google searches for "mom and pop shops" hit a three-year high in 2019, while searches for "local shops" hit a record high in 2018 and searches for "local" + "near me" more than tripled over the past decade.
"Starting a small business can be a pathway to economic prosperity for both business owners and their communities," Kim Spalding, Google's global product director, small business ads, wrote in a blog post. "In fact, 67 cents out of every dollar spent at a local business stays in the local economy."
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