The new grant to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) from Verizon is going to expand its COVID-19 small business support up to $7.5M. This is the third round of funding ($2.5 million) from Verizon’s Small Business Recovery Fund.
The support by large corporations highlights the importance of small businesses in the communities they operate in. According to the SBA, this comes out to 30.7 million businesses employing Over 59.9 million people, which is 47.3% of all U.S. employees. And when small businesses are doing well, large companies reap the benefits.
Verizon Expands Support to LISC
In the press release of the new funding announcement, Rose Stuckey Kirk, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer of Verizon, explains the need for the support. Kirk says the overwhelming response from the first round is the reason for the additional funding.
Kirk adds, “Verizon recognizes how valuable small businesses are. The economic stability of our communities is based on their success. It’s critical that we lean in and support these businesses. So they can continue to sustain themselves during this unprecedented time of need.”
The funding is going to especially focus on historically underserved communities.
Supporting Historically Underserved Communities
In the first round, Verizon received 55,000 applications. And these badly needed funds were distributed through the #PayitForwardLIVE weekly streaming series. And it was this response which led Verizon to increase the funding for another round focusing on historically underserved communities.
Maurice A. Jones, LISC president and CEO, says some of these business owners weren’t able to access the relief program. Especially those owned by women, minorities and veterans. He goes on to say this process will, “… protect the jobs and economic activity that are vital to the nation’s long-term recovery.”
In addition to the financial support, Verizon is also helping small businesses with its expertise, products and tools. It is equally important to help small businesses optimize their digital presence by addressing the challenges brought on by COVID-19.
- A partnership with Hello Alice – to support under-represented small business owners by offering resources and mentorship.
- A partner of the American Express ‘Stand for Small’ program – More than 40 companies have come together to support small businesses.
- A free small business webinar series – Offers advice for small business owners with practical, actionable insights and tips.
- Yahoo Small Business – Yahoo is offering a free one-year subscription to Business Maker. It includes a website, domain and business email to help businesses get online. Additionally, they get consultation time with a small business expert.
- Verizon is extending its commitment to keep small businesses connected through June 30. The company says it will neither terminate service nor charge late fees to customers that notify the company of their inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
- furthermore, Verizon employees are offering their expertise and mentorship support through virtual volunteer programs.
Some of the tools Verizon is also offering as part of a promotion to new customers free for three months include:
- Reveal fleet tracking – A vehicle tracking solution that gives businesses a 360-degree view of daily fleet operations to help reduce costs, increase productivity, stay on top of vehicle maintenance, and make more out of every business day.
- Integrated Video – A smart dash-cam solution that provides real data insights to help commercial drivers stay safe on the road and protect them against false claims in the event of any incident.
- Asset tracking solutions – Powered and non-powered solutions that monitor heavy equipment, trailers and assets to help improve security, utilization and uptime.
Are you Eligible?
By all means, if you’re a small business and need support, find out if you are eligible to receive a $10,000 financial grant through LISC and Verizon’s Small Business Recovery Fund.
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