Online payments giant PayPal Holdings has pledged $530 million as a way of supporting minority-owned US businesses. The company announced on Thursday that the contribution is aimed at fostering diversity in the country's economy, which it hopes would put a stop to racial injustice.
The majority of the money, or roughly around $500 million, will be placed in a fund that will be actively investing in companies owned by under-represented minorities. According to an internal memo and a statement released to the public, the funds will be made available through community banks and credit unions as well as through direct investments to eligible US-based companies.
The rest of the funds will be made available as emergency grants to minority-owned US businesses that had been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic and its ensuing lockdowns and social restrictions. PayPal will be working with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity to distribute grants to businesses that need it the most.
The organization's president, Connie Evans, stated that the grants will be given to companies to help them address expenses related to the reopening of their respective businesses. She added that the grants, which will be capped at $10,000 each, will be given to businesses that will otherwise collapse without immediate resources.
PayPal chief executive officer, Dan Schulman, mentioned in the statement that he and the company stand behind the country's Black community. He added that PayPal fully supports the Black Lives Matter movement and that its pledge should be more than proof of that fact.
Apart from the pledge, PayPal noted that it will be expanding its inclusion program to increase diversity within the company. According to its 2019 Global Impact Report, around 6 percent of PayPal's workforce identifies as black, with around 2 percent holding technical roles.
The company joins a growing list of US corporations that have committed billions of dollars to address that nation's racial inequality issue. PayPal's pledge comes after days of continued protests following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. African-Americans and other supporters flocked the streets of cities across the nation protesting the police brutality after the video of how Floyd was killed had circulated online.
One of the biggest pledges so far was made by Bank of America Corp, which announced that it will commit $1 billion over a four year period to help minority communities address racial inequality. Sportswear giant Nike has also pledged $40 million over four years to help communities address the issue. Last week, Goldman Sachs announced that it has created a $10 million fund to support the country's fight against racial discrimination.