Blog June 18, 2020

Investing $10 Million to Support Minority-Owned Small Businesses Alongside the National Urban League and National Action Network

In partnership with the National Urban League (NUL) and National Action Network (NAN), we recently announced a $10 million investment to support Black and other minority-owned small businesses in underserved communities.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy, creating two-thirds of net new jobs and accounting for 44% of our economic activity. Unfortunately, throughout our country’s history black and minority-owned businesses have not received equal access to the critical financial resources needed to survive and grow.  More recently, the disproportionate devastation experienced by these businesses has come into clearer focus through widespread civic unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic: 41% of African-American-owned and 32% of Latino-owned businesses disappeared between February and April of this year according to a recent National Bureau of Economic Research study.

“As we face the most daunting economic landscape since the Great Depression, committed and enlightened partners like Charter are more valued than ever before,” said National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial. “Charter is helping the National Urban League build stronger and more stable communities that create opportunity for prosperity.”

This investment partnership will help strengthen minority-owned small businesses, which will have a positive long-term economic impact on the development and growth of communities across Charter’s 41-state service area. “In order to achieve the economic equality we want to see, we need to support our Black businesses and our Black entrepreneurs,” said Reverend Al Sharpton of the National Action Network.

As part of the new partnership, Charter’s Spectrum Community Investment Loan Fund will invest $3 million in NUL’s community development financial institution (CDFI), the Urban Empowerment Fund, which will make individual loans to minority-owned small businesses and, under the direction of and on behalf of NAN, invest an additional $3 million in low-interest loans directly to CDFIs. In addition, Charter will provide $3.5 million in PSA value to promote its partners’ Loan Fund opportunities, and will contribute a $500,000 capacity grant to the NUL for revitalizing its CDFI platform.

“In all communities, small business ownership and growth are fundamental to developing and sustaining economic power, which is critical to their long-term success,” said Tom Rutledge, Chairman and CEO of Charter Communications. “Building on our valued partnerships with National Action Network and the National Urban League, these investments will support small diverse-owned businesses through access to much-needed low-interest capital and help build thriving communities across the country.”

We look forward to our continuing partnership with the National Action Network and National Urban League. This $10 million investment is an important effort alongside our other ongoing commitments to improve the lives of our customers and ensure the communities we serve remain vibrant and strong.