The spread of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus pandemic, has caused many across the country to lose their jobs as results of closure to contain the outbreak. Due to the sudden rise in unemployment, many business owners are afraid of what this means when the rent is due to their landlords. To protect small businesses from losing their brick-and-mortar storefronts, nonprofit lending platform Kiva is teaming Esusu to provide rent relief for those affected by COVID-19.
To provide rent relief for Black and Latinx business owners, Esusu and Kiva have created the national Rent Relief Fund to provide aid for renters who have become behind on their rent payments. The newly established fund has been able to raise $180,000 while also ensuring that participants can also apply for additional funds through Kiva at zero-interest.
“We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has global impact, and we’ll continue to explore ways to help as many people affected by this crisis as possible. Currently, the U.S. market is the place we have the most agility to deploy financial assistance,” the company wrote on its website. The goal of the fund was to give renters more options without creating more debt for themselves.
“Kiva is incredibly excited to partner with a mission-driven organization such as Esusu,” said Rohit Agarwal, Head of Kiva US in a press statement. “We are excited that our partnership will help hundreds of small businesses get back on their feet with affordable capital in the near term and build credit in the long term.”