Kaiser Permanente investing $100M to support Black business owners, address systemic racism

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OAKLAND, Calif. (KGET) – Kaiser Permanente recently announced a series of actions including $60 million in joint investments and $40 million in grant funding to address systemic racism and lack of economic opportunities for communities of color.

Through this new commitment, Kaiser Permanente said it will provide financial support to more than 2,000 businesses owned by Black and other underrepresented people across the country.

“The tragic murder of George Floyd and so many others has reverberated around the world, pushing us to demand overdue change to a status quo that keeps communities of color in the margins and holds us all back as a society,” said Greg A. Adams, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. “As a country, this is a moment to define who we are and what we stand for. We must take strong action to stop the physical, psychological, economic and social impacts of inequity and systemic racism so that we can create healthier communities where everybody, regardless of their skin color, can feel safe and thrive.”

To support businesses led by Black and other underrepresented individuals, Kaiser Permanente and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the nation’s largest community development organization, have launched a $60 million investment partnership to strengthen businesses in the wake of COVID-19. 

The partnership will provide business loans of $100,000 to $4 million. Kaiser Permanente is also designating $15 million in grants to increase access to formal training, business networks, and recovery and growth capital to help businesses led by Black and other underrepresented groups overcome systemic economic disadvantage. 

Pacific Community Ventures and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City – two organizations with expertise in the needs of these small-businesses owners – will be initial partners in this work, Kaiser Permanente said. 

“This new partnership with Kaiser Permanente not only helps small businesses sustain their operations during the pandemic, but it also looks to the future— strengthening the economic infrastructure of our communities so that families and businesses can thrive,” said LISC president and CEO Maurice A. Jones. 

Kaiser Permanente said it is also designating an additional $25 million in grants to build upon its work to address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma and to support grassroots efforts to end systemic racism.

In the coming weeks, Kaiser Permanente said it will solicit proposals from community-based organizations, particularly those that are led or governed by Black people or other people of color that are focused on dismantling discriminatory institutional practices and structures.

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