Verizon Expands COVID-19 Small Business Support up to $7.5M With New Grant to LISC
Additional $2.5M grant will support LISC’s Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund with a third round of funding.
In a recent survey, 64% of small businesses say their cash reserves will last less than three months and those that remain open have cut 37% of their workforce. (1)
BASKING RIDGE, N.J., April 30, 2020 /3BL Media/ – Verizon today announced an additional $2.5 million donation to small business support through the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), bringing the total funding of LISC’s Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund up to a potential $7.5 million. LISC, a national nonprofit that invests in affordable housing, economic development and jobs, is offering critical relief and resiliency-building support to small businesses facing immediate financial threat due to the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing especially on historically underserved communities.
Verizon and LISC also announced the first round of over 200 grant recipients from across the country that will each receive $10,000 to support their small businesses, helping them meet payroll, pay rent and address additional immediate operational needs. A second round of grants, totaling up to $2.5 million, will be distributed by LISC with funds contributed by Verizon through its ongoing #PayitForwardLIVE weekly streaming series. With over 55,000 applications for the first round of grants, Verizon has committed an additional $2.5 million in funding to support a third round of grants from LISC’s Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund.
“The overwhelming response received from the first round of applicants stressed the urgent need for additional funding to these businesses,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer of Verizon. “Verizon recognizes how valuable small businesses are and that the economic stability of our communities is based on their success. It’s critical that we lean in and support these businesses so they can continue to sustain themselves during this unprecedented time of need.”
Pay It Forward Live
Verizon has been rallying support for small businesses affected by COVID-19 through Pay It Forward Live, the weekly streaming entertainment series, which airs Tuesday and Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT on Twitter @Verizon, Yahoo, Verizon’s Facebook and YouTube pages, Fios channel 501 and 604 and Twitch. During the live events, viewers are encouraged to do what they can to support local businesses in their own communities by shopping online, buying a gift card to be used when businesses reopen or ordering a meal. Verizon will donate $10, up to $2.5 million, to support small businesses for each use of the hashtag #PayItForwardLIVE. The series launched on March 26 with an intimate, at-home performance with Dave Matthews and Janelle Monáe will perform tonight, April 30. Previous events have also included Billie Eilish and FINNEAS, Alicia Keys, Luke Bryan, Ryan Tedder, Aisha Tyler, FaZe Clan’s Nate Hill, Cizzorz, Marshmello, Pokimane and more.
“Small businesses are the economic backbone of our communities,” said Maurice A. Jones, LISC president and CEO. “Thanks to Verizon’s generous support, we are able to support entrepreneurs that have otherwise not been able to access relief programs - especially those owned by women, minorities and veterans - and in the process, protect the jobs and economic activity that are vital to the nation’s long-term recovery.”
Verizon’s ongoing commitment to small businesses
In addition to funding, Verizon is bringing its products, tools and expertise to help small businesses optimize their digital presence and work through business challenges during this crisis. Some of those efforts include:
- A partnership with Hello Alice, a platform that supports under-represented small business owners, to offer resources and mentorship for small businesses.
- A partner of the American Express ‘Stand for Small’ program, a coalition of more than 40 companies that have come together to provide meaningful support to small businesses.
- A free small business webinar series featuring experts offering useful advice for small business owners, including practical, actionable insights and tips.
- Yahoo Small Business is offering a free one-year subscription to Business Maker which includes a website, domain and business email to help businesses get online, plus consultation time with a small business expert.
- Verizon employees are offering their expertise and mentorship support through virtual volunteer programs.
- Verizon has extended its commitment to keep small businesses (2) connected through June 30 and will neither terminate service nor charge late fees to customers that notify the company of their inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
To date, Verizon’s total COVID-19 crisis commitment now stands at over $50 million in contributions and donations to nonprofits around the globe. You can find more information on Verizon’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic here.
(2) Includes small business customers with 50 lines or less.