Marginalized Businesses Are Lifting Each Other Up Online
In the face of a commercial break, small businesses are coming together to lift each other during the coronavirus crisis. These can be the faces we see every day: pharmacists, repairmen, workers at the grocery, the post office, and many more.
With the U.S. economy plummeting during the pandemic, entrepreneurs are struggling to maintain their businesses because of a shortage in production, delays in supplies, and declines in sales.
Women-Owned Companies Stand Together
Women leaders all across the U.S. have been supporting vulnerable Americans through relief efforts and donations.
Entrepreneur and TV Show host Oprah Winfrey is the founder of Harpo, Inc. and Oxygen Media, a platform for women in the media industry. Earlier this month, she announced on her social media, "I am donating $10 million overall to help Americans during this pandemic in cities across the country and in areas where I grew up."
CEO and founder of shapewear brand Spanx Sara Blakely, has donated $5 million to other woman-run businesses. Through her Red Backpack Fund in her collaboration with Global Giving, Blakely is giving $5,000 to other female entrepreneurs.
On her Instagram post, she said she wanted to lessen the load that fellow business owners must be dealing with during the pandemic. She added that, as a woman, leading a business could be lonely and scary, "especially at a time like this. Small business is the backbone of our culture, and I want to help."
At the same time, the founder of Anonymous Was A Woman Susan Unterberg is now distributing over $6 million to assist artists who lost income or opportunity for work because of the pandemic and the crisis that came with it. AWAW gives the $2,500 grants in partnership with the New York Foundation for the Arts to women-identifying artists over 40 years old in the U.S.
Unterberg acknowledged that there were multitudes of Americans struggling as a result of the pandemic, but AWAW could only help so many with their capacity. She added, "I wish we were able to help everyone."
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Minority-Led Businesses Step Up
Other businesses that require aid during the pandemic are those that are run by minority groups. While it is safe to say they had a good run, the challenge now is to maintain the business during an economic crisis, where production, sales, and supply are affected by the pandemic.
This is why actress and businesswoman Eva Longoria invited everyone to participate in the online campaign #AyudaEnEspanol to raise awareness for the League of United Latin American Citizens, also known as LULAC.
In partnership with Hornitos, they collaborated to help the Latinx communities maneuver through the economic crisis by providing a resource kit on gaining government benefits, accessing health services, and acquiring services from affiliated organizations with little to no costs.
Similarly, SheaMoisture, a minority-owned company that produces sustainable hair, beauty, and skincare products, gave away $1 million worth of relief funds to women and people of color entrepreneurs.
According to a statement on the official website, with every purchase, customers are contributing to initiatives by SheaMoisture in partnership with Community Commerce. These initiatives allow women of color more opportunities in various areas of business.
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