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Visa commits $210m to support small and micro businesses, offer Covid-19 relief

Visa commits $210m to support small and micro businesses, offer Covid-19 relief

Small and micro businesses make up more than 90 per cent of worldwide businesses, contributing 50 to 60 per cent of global employment

US-based Visa Foundation committed $210m via two programmes to support small and micro businesses, and to address a pressing need from local communities in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, it announced on April 6.

The foundation’s support of small and micro businesses is in line with its long-term focus on women’s economic advancement and inclusion.

The first programme of $10m will extend immediate emergency relief to support charitable organisations operating on the frontlines responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as public health and food relief, across all five geographic regions in which Visa operates – North America; Latin America and the Caribbean; Europe; Asia Pacific; and Central Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“As Covid-19 continues to unfold, communities are feeling the effects and need our immediate support,” said Al Kelly, CEO and chairman of Visa.

“As a global company that operates a very local business, we recognise this need. We’re also committed to the long-term recovery and will continue to explore ways we can accelerate economic activity in line with our mission to help individuals, businesses and economies thrive.”

The second programme, a five-year $200m commitment to support small and micro businesses worldwide, focuses on fostering women’s economic advancement. The Visa Foundation will give $60m in grants to NGOs that support small and micro business owners, many of whom are women, in every region where Visa operates while it will allocate $140m to investment partners that yield positive social and financial returns for small and micro businesses.

Small and micro businesses make up more than 90 per cent of worldwide businesses, contributing 50 to 60 per cent of global employment.

“Now more than ever, we must accelerate our support for small businesses on the frontlines driving economic growth,” said Kelly.

“As many small and micro business owners are women, there will be a ripple effect supporting women’s economic advancement, which we believe is one of the most important ways to achieve gender equality, reduce poverty and foster inclusive economic development.”

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