Small businesses are the lifeblood of local and national economies all over the world. COVID-19 has brought into stark focus the urgent and alarming challenges many small businesses now face, as we’ve all seen firsthand the temporary shuttering of our favorite coffee shop, bookstore, or restaurant. Less apparent on our quiet streets, but as material to the current crisis, is the similar pause in small businesses focused on manufacturing, consulting, and services, as well as entrepreneurs trying to grow a business.
Two weeks ago, Goldman Sachs fielded a survey among U.S. alumni of our 10,000 Small Businesses program and found, unsurprisingly, that 96% had already been impacted by COVID-19. What stood out more alarmingly for me was that 51% say their business will not be able to continue to operate beyond three months if the current situation persists.
Now, we are deploying our capital and expertise to help small businesses navigate the incredible burdens they face, while ensuring that health providers and relief organizations have the funds they need to fulfill their missions. I’m proud to share that Goldman Sachs will commit $300 million across two initiatives:
$275 million to create aSmall Business Stimulus Package, including:
- $250 million to provide emergency loans to small businesses across the country.
- $25 million in grants to (CDFIs) and other mission-driven lenders to ensure they have the necessary capacity to underwrite and deliver loans to small businesses as soon as possiblee.
$25 million as part of the Goldman Sachs COVID-19 Relief Fund to support communities in most urgent need globally, with the firm contributing to match employee donations up to an additional $5 million.
Additionally, we have created a Small Business Resource Center to help explain and simplify the U.S. CARES Act, and similar policy actions in the U.K., pointing business owners to the right resources to apply for government loans and other benefits.
We have worked hand-in-hand with entrepreneurs to support the growth of their businesses for over a decade through our 10,000 Small Businesses program, recognizing that they are foundational to our economy. These businesses are relied upon by a constituency far broader than their customers and clients, and we are taking immediate steps so that they may continue to support their employees, their families, and their communities. Our hope is that with immediate cash loans and the necessary stimulus to lending institutions, we can help provide the time these businesses need to weather this crisis.
Originally published on LinkedIn.com