Kaiser Permanente and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation have announced a $60 million partnership in support of efforts to advance racial, social, and economic justice in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the aim of providing the kind of flexible, lower-cost financing that is often unavailable in the marketplace to women- and minority-led businesses in low-wealth communities, Kaiser Permanente and LISC will each commit $30 million in capital to help businesses and communities recover from the impacts of the public health emergency and build more resilient local economies. Among other things, the partnership will provide small business and commercial real estate loans ranging between $100,000 and $4 million to help transform under-utilized commercial and industrial corridors and provide support for workforce and talent development efforts.
In addition to the partnership with LISC, Kaiser Permanente is committing an additional $15 million in grants — including $2 million through the partnership — to improve access to formal training, business networks, and growth capital for Black-led businesses and entrepreneurs from other underrepresented groups, and will allocate $25 million in discretionary grants to combat racism and promote equity, with a focus on community-based organizations and those led or governed by African Americans or other people of color.
"The tragic murder of George Floyd and so many others has reverberated around the world, pushing us to demand overdue change to a status quo that keeps communities of color in the margins and holds us all back as a society," said Kaiser Permanente chair and CEO Greg A. Adams. "As a country, this is a moment to define who we are and what we stand for. We must take strong action to stop the physical, psychological, economic, and social impacts of inequity and systemic racism so that we can create healthier communities where everybody, regardless of their skin color, can feel safe and thrive."
"All across the country, we can see that health and wealth are inextricably linked. Creating pathways for people to get back to work in quality jobs, and for small businesses to get on solid ground and grow, is so important for the well-being of the nation at large," said LISC president and CEO Maurice A. Jones. "This new partnership with Kaiser Permanente not only helps small businesses sustain their operations during the pandemic, but it also looks to the future — strengthening the economic infrastructure of our communities so that families and businesses can thrive."
(Photo credit: Local Initiatives Support Corporation)