Home improvement retailer Lowe's has announced an additional commitment of $30 million to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation in support of small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday, the company announced that it would increase its support for minority small business owners from $25 million to $30 million and would donate an additional $25 million to its small business grant program with LISC, with a focus on rural communities. The grants will provide immediate relief to small businesses with critical needs such as rent, payroll, and operational expenses; recipients also will receive a year of technical assistance post-grant to help ensure their survival over the longer term. The funding also will enable LISC to connect both applicants and grantees with a network of lenders and small business development and advocacy organizations.
The company's total commitment of $55 million makes it the largest donor to LISC's Small Business Relief & Recovery Program and COVID Rapid Relief & Resiliency Fund.
"Having grown up in a small town, I have first-hand knowledge of the extraordinary challenges small business owners in rural communities across the country face during the pandemic," said Lowe's president and CEO Marvin R. Ellison. "We also remain committed to supporting minority small businesses that are being disproportionately impacted."
"This remarkable commitment from Lowe's is a game-changer for rural America, and as someone who grew up in a small rural town, I know directly the impact this investment is going to make for the future of rural businesses, residents, and communities," said LISC president and CEO Maurice A. Jones. "With it, we can help rural business owners sustain operations and protect jobs during the current crisis while at the same time investing in sustainable growth throughout small towns, agricultural communities and coal country."
(Photo credit: United Way)