Small and emerging businesses could gain $10,000 grants through Venmo. Funding for the Venmo Small Business Grant will supply new financial grants and mentorship services to 20 new and existing Venmo customers.
Awardees will get access to technical expertise and mentorship on topics like legal services, financial analysis, and digital marketing. The company stated that resources will be offered in partnership with PayPal community partners, Start Small, Think Big and Taproot Foundation. PayPal and Venmo employees will offer coaching and pro bono services.
It was disclosed that business owners from historically underrepresented communities will be given special consideration. The aim is to help businesses “build resilience, grow and succeed.”
The funding addresses the fact that 82% of businesses don’t survive cash flow problems, per a U.S. Bank study. Black businesses have been hit even harder since COVID-19, being forced to close down or to rebound more profoundly than other businesses.
Venmo Vice President, Denise Leonhard, stated, “The last two years have been tremendously difficult for small businesses in communities across the United States, like your local dog walker, barber and florist. Nearly 200,000 U.S. businesses have been forced to close because of the pandemic.”
“Since the launch of Venmo Business Profiles in February 2021, over 1.5 million small businesses have created profiles to organize, market and grow their business cost effectively.”
The grant effort builds on PayPal’s 2020 commitment of $535 million to provide financial relief, sustained support and long-term investment to expand economic opportunity and address the racial wealth gap for Black and underrepresented businesses and communities. PayPal was among scores of major companies that made such commitments after the murder of George Floyd.