American Express announced a $200 million commitment to help jumpstart spending at small businesses Monday.
According to an American Express press release, the credit card giant is also building a coalition with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
The coalition will bring together the U.S. Black Chambers, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the National Business League, and Walker’s Legacy with a $10 million pledge over the next four years to fund a program providing grants to U.S. Black-owned small businesses to assist in their recovery and address the issues they face due to racial and social inequalities.
“American Express has backed small business owners through challenging times for decades, and we are standing for them today as many struggle to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Stephen J. Squeri, chairman and CEO of American Express said in the release. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and now is the time to join together and help them rebound from this global crisis because their success is critical to job creation, strong economies, and thriving neighborhoods.”
The credit card giant also made history earlier this month when it appointed the first Black woman to its executive committee.
In addition, American Express is making it easier to find small businesses open for online or in-store purchases through its updated shop small map. The interactive map can search for and list small businesses in an area by name or by location. The map also allows small businesses to easily update their information such as store hours as well as contact details. American Express has also launched a similar effort in Canada.
Small businesses across the world have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, especially small Black businesses. According to the JPMorgan Chase Institute, small Black businesses are hurting more than businesses owned by people of other races during the pandemic.