Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison announced the home improvement company would assist minority-owned businesses with $25 million in grants to support efforts to relaunch the American economy.
According to CNBC, the grants are an effort to help small businesses, especially home improvement professionals that need masks, personal protective equipment, and other supplies to operate safely.
“These are going to be minority businesses and other businesses that are now starting to reopen,” Ellison told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Mad Money. “So we just want to continue to not only run a good business, but also be a great corporate citizen in all of the communities that we operate in.”
The grants double the amount of money Lowe’s had provided to help the country’s coronavirus response. In March, Ellison announced Lowe’s would provide $25 million to support workers, customers, and communities. That effort included donating $10 million to get personal protective equipment materials to front-line medical workers.
Ellison joined Lowe’s in July 2018, and is one of four black CEOs of a Fortune 500 company. Ellison knows in tough times, companies need to help those that have supported them.
“It’s all about trying to do what is best for our associates first and our community, and we’re proud that we could be there for them in these really unique times,” Ellison said. “Our culture is about doing the right thing for our communities and our associates.”
Ellison, who also appeared on the BLACK ENTERPRISE list of the 300 Most Powerful Executives In Corporate America, shared the guidelines Lowe’s used to operate safely during the pandemic with the Retail Industry Leaders Association.
“We gave it to them to share with other retailers because the only competition that we have is the virus,” Ellison said. “We have to work together to get this economy going, and my message to America is: Support your local businesses, support your small businesses, and let’s do our part to maintain social distancing so we can get this virus behind us as quick as possible.”