“In This Together” Campaign Aims To Invest $1 Billion In Minority Businesses Impacted By COVID
Jeffrey McKinney | July 21, 2020 | Black Enterprise
More than 30 blue-chip companies—including the likes of Capital One, ExxonMobil, Nissan North America Inc., and Procter & Gamble Co.—have pledged to support Black businesses and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The companies will provide funding as partakers “In This Together Campaign,” a new drive by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) to help its certified minority firms and other minority businesses overcome the dire blows of COVID-19.
NMSDC President and CEO Adrienne Trimble told Black Enterprise that the campaign hopes to raise $1 billion over the next 12 to 18 months from corporate donors to support minority business development, economic inclusion, and growth. NMSDC has raised about $600,000 in the opening weeks of the campaign. Trimble elaborated on why additional support is needed.
“Prior to the pandemic and social injustice events, NMSDC was working strategically to close the economic gap between Black and minority businesses; now, the gap has widened due to the unprecedented activities that changed the trajectory globally,” she says. “This is not a social call to action but one that will position Black and minority businesses to sustain throughout and propel beyond this pandemic as well as continue to recreate job opportunities for the communities they serve.”
The corporations responded to a recent challenge from Trimble to “not only lend a hand to our Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs), but to take definitive action and stand up against the systemic racial barriers plaguing our society.” She made the remarks at the NMSDC’s 2020 Virtual Leadership Awards Ceremony and on its website.
The NMSDC matches over 12,000 certified MBEs with roughly 1,450 corporate members who boost their supplier diversity efforts by buying goods and services from the MBEs. The firms can range from small businesses to companies with over $1 billion in sales. NMSDC reports its corporate membership includes many of the country’s biggest public and privately-owned companies, along with healthcare firms, colleges and universities. The NMSDC claims it was initiated as a result of the civil rights movement in the late 1960s and continues to be the nation’s leading minority business development organization.
The council’s latest campaign comes as the economic disruption caused by COVID-19 shutdowns—combined with closures as civil protests erupted in many communities–is particularly devastating to black businesses, Trimble says. The group added the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has helped some Black businesses.