The Nielsen Foundation will dedicate $1 million over the next three years to support U.S. Black-owned small businesses impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns and recent social unrest. 

Through the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, grant funds will be directed to support small businesses that have limited access to traditional business financing in historically disinvested neighborhoods in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and the Twin Cities. 

“Small businesses are the backbone of our local communities and the U.S. economy. By directing our largest multi-year grant yet to support Black-owned small businesses, we hope to invest in neighborhoods that have been most impacted by COVID and systemic racism, as well as open new opportunities for Black businesses to grow and thrive,” said Andrea Bertels, Executive Director of Grantmaking of the Nielsen Foundation.

The Nielsen Foundation is simultaneously launching a $100,000 matching gifts campaign for COVID-19 relief, justice, and racial equity. Nielsen associates can donate to these organizations working to advance racial equity and human rights: the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the National Urban League, the United Negro College Fund, and Human Rights Watch. In addition, donations can be made to support the COVID-19 response efforts of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the International Rescue Committee, and GlobalGiving. 

In 2020, the Foundation will dedicate a total of $1 million for COVID-19 relief and response efforts, especially to address food insecurity and inequalities that have been heightened as a result of COVID-19. Grants have already been made to Feeding America, WFP, and the International Rescue Committee. The Foundation has also supported organizations shifting their U.S. Census campaigns as a result of COVID-19, as well as anti-xenophobia and anti-hate speech efforts.