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Facebook on Thursday launched a $40 million grant program for Black-owned businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic — part of the company’s broader initiative to help Black communities, which it announced in June.

The company plans to issue 10,000 grants to Black entrepreneurs with up to 50 employees. Qualifying individuals can apply online. The deadline to apply is August 31.

The social media company’s Black business grant program is part of the $100 million commitment it made in June to help black communities across the country. Facebook said the initiative was inspired by feedback from employees as well as people who applied for its $40 million Small Business Grants Program, which is aimed at helping small business owners of all races get through the pandemic.

#BuyBlack: 7 Ways To Support Black Owned Businesses

“Since we opened applications for the program, we have seen a huge amount of interest from Black-owned businesses, so we know they are facing enormous challenges,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote in a June statement announcing the company’s planned Black community investments. “When we asked for ideas from employees, many suggested that there was much more we could do to support them.

“Virtually all small business owners have struggled since state and local governments ordered nonessential operations to close in March to try to contain the spread of coronavirus. But the shutdowns had a disproportionate impact on small business owners of color, studies have shown.

And Black small business owners have been hit hardest

Facebook to spend $40 million to support Black-owned businesses

Last month, a Black manager at Facebook and two other Black people who applied for jobs there filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for alleged discrimination.

The company also faced a July boycott led by the social justice group Color of Change and the media activist group Free Press, whose supporters took issue with how Facebook has policed hate speech and misinformation on its platforms.

The controversy grew after Facebook chose not to take action on a series of racially charged posts made by President Donald Trump, including one that said “looting” during the racial justice protests that erupted after George Floyd was killed would lead to “shooting.”

 

Black-owned businesses are experiencing a surge in demand following the recent Black Lives Matter protests after the deaths of several Black Americans at the hands of police, according to Yelp’s Economic Average Report for the second quarter.

From May 25 to July 10, there were more than 2.5 million searches for Black-owned businesses on Yelp, compared to about 35,000 over the same time period last year — a stunning 7,043% increase. Searches for Black-owned restaurants skyrocketed 2,508% and Black-owned bookstores jumped 1,437% compared to last year.

 

searches-for-black-owned-businesses-are-surging.png   The news comes in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, which shuttered thousands of small businesses across the country and disproportionately affected minority-owned businesses and hit Black-owned businesses especially hard.

Since the racial justice protests, the demand for Black products has trickled into the book market, with Black authors dominating the New York Times best-sellers list. The list includes books on racism, White fragility and privilege.

As stores across the nation begin to reopen, Yelp’s report revealed that searches for Black-owned boutiques increased by 331% and 161% more people are searching for Black-owned coffee shops for their morning caffeine fix, than last year. Searches for Black doctors have increased by 183%.

6 Ways You Can Support Black- Owned Businessess During COVID-19 Pandemic

While the enhance in enterprise is welcomed, some corporations weren’t ready for the uptick. OneUnited Bank, one of many largest Black-owned banks in America, skilled a big improve of recent clients, main them to issue several messages apologizing to clients in regards to the elevated response occasions.

Justin Norman, Yelp’s vp of information science, instructed Business Insider he expects that curiosity in Black-owned businesses will proceed.

Justin Norman, Yelp’s vp of information science, instructed Business Insider he expects that curiosity in Black-owned businesses will proceed.

“There has been sustained interest in Black-owned businesses since the initial peak at the end of May and beginning of June, and this interest is diversifying past the initial generic searches for Black-owned businesses and restaurants into a wider range of business types. To me, this signals a shift in consumer behavior and habit that I expect will continue,” mentioned Norman.

 

Supporting black-owned businesses helps the black community to thrive, and now there are several apps and websites that make finding these businesses easier than ever. there are many ways you can take action in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the black community. Apart from donating to organisations combatting racial injustice. you can also support and shop black-owned businesses.

Planning to head to New Orleans sometime soon? Supporting local Black-owned businesses is a must-add to your trip itinerary!

Black History is a living history composed of the past, present and things to come. In New Orleans, there’s plenty of each. From the neighborhoods and streets you stroll, to the dances and songs you sing, and even the dishes you eat – Black History has and continues to the pioneer the culture of the Crescent City