The Visa Foundation has announced commitments totaling $210 million in support of small and micro-businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds will be channeled through two initiatives — a $10 million fund to provide immediate relief to nonprofits on the front lines of COVID-19 response efforts and a five-year, $200 million commitment in support of small and micro-businesses. The former will focus on public health and food relief efforts in the regions where Visa operates: North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Central Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
In alignment with the foundation's long-term focus on women's economic advancement and inclusive economic development, the small business initiative will focus on fostering women's economic advancement globally. To that end, the foundation will award $60 million in grants to NGOs supporting small and micro-business owners, many of whom are women, and will allocate $140 million to partners working to generate positive social and financial returns for small and micro-businesses.
"When women thrive, communities thrive," said Visa Foundation president Graham Macmillan. "We know this matters now more than ever as the global economy seeks to recover and rebuild."
"As COVID-19 continues to unfold, communities are feeling the effects and need our immediate support," said Visa CEO and chair Al Kelly. "As a global company that operates a very local business, we recognize this need. We're also committed to the long-term recovery and will continue to explore ways we can accelerate economic activity in line with our mission to help individuals, businesses, and economies thrive."