In remarks made during the recent 2020 National Minority Supplier Development Council Virtual Leadership Awards Ceremony and through an online message on NMSDC.org, NMSDC President and CEO Adrienne Trimble firmly stated the organization’s commitment to facilitating change for the nation’s Black business community.
Her appeal challenged business leaders to “Not only lend a hand to our minority business enterprises but to take definitive action and stand up against the systemic racial barriers plaguing our society.”
The economic disruption caused by COVID-19 shutdowns coupled with closures as civil protests erupted in many communities is particularly devastating to Black businesses, Trimble said. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection Program has helped some Black businesses, but NMSDC said its surveys have identified that many still need additional support. In addition, the organization said many Black-owned businesses across the country are now at risk of having to close their doors permanently. According to data from the National Bureau of Economic Research, as of May 2020, 41% of Black-owned businesses had closures due to COVID-19.
In response to the crisis facing its certified MBEs, NMSDC launched the “In This Together” campaign — a portfolio of initiatives and programs to help expedite recovery efforts within the Black business community. NMSDC issued a call to action asking corporate members’ C-Level executives to fortify and recommit to their organization’s utilization of minority businesses by supporting:
PPP Funding Access: NMSDC established a partnership between its Business Consortium Fund and Midwest BankCentre to provide MBEs with direct access and support for accessing PPP funds at bcfcapital.com. Visit the website and watch the PPP video which provides step-by-step instructions for completing a PPP loan application. There is still more than $130 billion in allocated funds available.
The REBUILDING Fund: NMSDC established “The REBUILDING Fund” to invest in minority businesses struggling to recover from the economic, downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as those sustaining damage and vandalism during protests.
The Minority Business Advocacy Initiative: NMSDC established an inter-organization coalition focused on eradicating the racial wealth gap and startup capital gap to build and scale minority businesses.
The NMSDC Business Consortium Fund: NMSDC has accelerated its work with its Business Consortium Fund, the only U.S. nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution focused exclusively on financing the growth and development of NMSDC-certified MBEs throughout the United States operating in corporate and government supply chains and helping raise capital for low-interest loans to MBEs.
NMSDC Academy: The NMSDC Academy provides a range of immersive professional development and learning opportunities for MBEs and its corporate partners, including Emerging Young Entrepreneurs, Minority Business Leadership Academy, Centers of Excellence Certificate Program and Women of Color initiatives.
Shortly after NMSDC announced the launch of its “In This Together” campaign, The Coca-Cola Co. responded with the effort’s first pledge. To date, these corporations have pledged support:
• Amgen Inc.
• AT&T Inc.
• Cargill Inc.
• Capital One Financial Corp.
• CDW Corp.
• Chevron Corp.
• Citrix Systems Inc.
• The Coca-Cola Co.
• Colgate-Palmolive Co.
• Cummins Inc.
• The ECG Group
• Exxon Mobil Corp.
• Fifth Third Bancorp
• Google LLC.
• Humana Inc.
• Infinera Corp.
• Intel Corp.
• JPMorgan Chase & Co.
• The Kellogg Co.
• Messer Construction
• Motorola Solutions Inc.
• Nissan North America Inc.
• Pfizer Inc.
• PNC Financial Services Group
• The Procter & Gamble Co.
• Salesforce.com Inc.
• SAS Institute Inc.
• Twitter Inc.
• UPS Inc.
• Verizon Media
• Vistra Corp.
• The Walt Disney Co.
• Warner Media Group
• Wells Fargo & Co.
President and CEO
“Recent events are shining a brighter spotlight on the challenges facing many minority communities and minority-owned businesses, emphasizing the great need for the work of NMSDC. Through the NMSDC’s Rebuilding Fund, Vistra is investing in the immediate restoration of those minority businesses impacted by the pandemic and damaged during protests. In addition, Vistra is committed to supporting minority communities through the long-term growth of minority-owned businesses by contributing to the Business Consortium Fund.”
Chief procurement officer and head of supplier services
The Coca-Cola Co.
“The Coca-Cola Co. and our bottling partners have a longstanding commitment to the growth and development of diverse suppliers. The Coca-Cola Co. has consistently grown our commitment and spend with diverse suppliers over the 45-plus years since our supplier diversity program began. We are proud to partner with NMSDC and, in 2020, will continue to financially support NMSDC’s MBE economic inclusion and parity initiatives while growing our overall diverse supplier spend.”
Chief procurement officer and president, real estate and risk management
“UPS has a long history of support for minority-owned businesses. Our decadeslong membership and sponsorship of the NMSDC has been an important and valued part of our business, and we are honored to stand with you to support our diverse communities.”
Chief procurement officer and global vice president, strategic sourcing and procurement
“Cargill has been committed to building an inclusive supply chain for decades, and believes that when our suppliers reflect the communities we work and live in, we all thrive. With our ongoing support of NMSDC and its great work, Cargill is committed to creating opportunities to utilize minority-owned businesses to drive economic growth.”
NMSDC said it is in active conversations with a number of corporations regarding their participation and support of this campaign.
“I appreciate the generosity of these donors, as well as those companies in the process of finalizing their commitments,” Trimble said. “Their swift response to our call to action is already allowing NMSDC to deploy funds to our MBEs and strengthens our ability to expand support further into the Black business community.”However, she noted that the crisis is far from over. Trimble said that while many corporations have promised financial support to Black businesses and the Black Lives Matter Movement, few organizations can directly impact MBE sustainability as well as NMSDC. Therefore, the “In This Together” campaign will continue as needed to provide support to minority businesses during these unprecedented times.
To learn more about how to support NMSDC’s “In This Together” campaign, visit NMSDC.org/InThisTogether.