Lowe’s home improvement has donated $55 million in small-business and minority-owned business grants to help companies open or remain open during the coronavirus pandemic.
The donations include $25 million to rural small businesses and $30 million in grants to minority-owned businesses.
Retail was the largest sector to receive the first round of business grants, followed by construction and other services, such as barbershops, nail salons and dry cleaners, company spokeswoman Amy Allison said. The businesses covered a wide range from grocery stores and car dealers to plumbers and painters. Each business receives up to $20,000. Like companies owned by minorities and women, rural businesses face certain challenges such as limited access to capital and fewer nearby services.
To raise awareness of the company, Lowe’s is also sponsoring free movies at many of their parking lots. Lowe’s will accept donations to support relief efforts for local small business with the Local Initiatives Support Corp., a national nonprofit that’s helping Lowe’s distribute its business grants. The retailer will match the donations 2-to-1 up to $50,000.