As consumers emerge and spend within their communities, there are new opportunities to support minority-owned businesses. According to the New York Small Business Development Center, roughly 30 percent of small businesses in our state are minority-owned. When you consider that roughly half (48%) of small business revenues are recirculated back into the neighborhoods they serve, the impact businesses owned by People of Color (POC) have is substantial.
Unfortunately, these businesses have taken the biggest hit from the pandemic, namely front-line, service industries. The good news is that more consumers are sustaining the call for economic and racial equity by supporting POC and minority-owned businesses.
Economic equity and inclusion is a cornerstone of our business
At KeyBank, economic equity and inclusion is a cornerstone of our business. Our initial $16.5 billion National Community Benefits Plan, launched in 2017, focused on supporting underserved communities and populations in our 15-state footprint. Here in Buffalo, KeyBank has made more than $729 million in community investments. The recent expansion of the plan to $40 billion enables even greater support for low-to-moderate-income small businesses, affordable housing, community development, mortgage lending, and philanthropy across the nation and here in Buffalo.
Support local POC businesses
Here are some things that all companies can do to support local POC businesses:
- Implement inclusive business practices – In addition to diversified hiring practices, all companies can empower employees with knowledge to mitigate unconscious bias.
- Create a diverse and inclusive workforce – At KeyBank, we believe inclusive hiring practices that reflect the diversity of the communities we serve are critical to creating value to our diverse client base.
- Spend intentionally – KeyBank has a long-standing commitment to supplier diversity and creating mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers that are at least 51% owned by minorities, women, veterans, LGBT, or individuals with a disability.
About the Author:
Michael McMahon | Buffalo Market President & Commercial Sales Leader | KeyBank
Disclaimer: The above commentary entails the views of the author and not necessarily the views of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.