Our local main streets have been amongst the hardest hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. To help address this challenge, Mastercard today announced a commitment of $250 million over five years to support small businesses in the United States and other markets where we operate. The announcement came during the virtual America CARES Small Business Relief event hosted at the White House on Tuesday afternoon.
As part of the commitment, the company will provide U.S. small business owners with access to necessary resources to help protect their business and their employees through free cyber vulnerability assessments and identity theft protection for the 28 million small businesses eligible to participate in the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. Leveraging its data and insights, Mastercard will provide U.S. small business owners access to its Local Market Intelligence™ solution in order to help them understand consumer spending trends in their communities.
“When our small businesses suffer our nation suffers, so it is incumbent upon all to ensure that we’re supporting the businesses who are the lifeblood of our economy and pillars of our communities,” said Michael Miebach, President of Mastercard. “We are leveraging our network, insights, technology and partnerships to deliver the resources small business owners need now to help them sustain their business as they quickly adapt to a new way of operating and evolved customer needs.”
In response to the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act, Mastercard committed to put $500 million toward inclusive growth and created the Mastercard Impact Fund. The company’s $250 million commitment today includes financial, technology, product and insight assets to support the financial security and vitality of small businesses and their workers. This builds on the company’s longstanding commitment to financial inclusion, having brought half a billion individuals into the financial system over the last few years.
Many small businesses are quickly moving their activities online and with this comes increased exposure to cyber threats. To address this, Mastercard will help small business owners understand the cyber vulnerabilities of their system. Based on an initial assessment, Mastercard will partner with them to prioritize the issues that need to be fixed first, with specific guidance on how to repair critical vulnerabilities. The company is also offering identity theft protection for both small business owners and their employees to help them navigate any potential attacks.
To help small business owners pivot operations and drive more effective marketing and promotions, Mastercard is making its Local Market Intelligence™ insights solution available through banks and fintech. The solution is accessible to any small business that accepts card payments; it provides insight into local retail sales patterns, leveraging Mastercard’s anonymized data.
Both services will be offered at no cost for three months.
“This crisis has been devastating to millions of small businesses, and I applaud the quick action by the Administration and private sector to provide assistance during this unprecedented time,” said Hector Barreto, The Latino Coalition Chairman and former U.S. Small Business Administrator. “It’s great to see companies like Mastercard leveraging their assets, technologies and reach to provide small businesses with tools that they need to secure their business and focus on their future. I hope this serves as inspiration for others to do the same.”
“The challenges facing small business owners right now are many, including keeping their business afloat while, in many instances, supporting their employees through this crisis,” said Carolyn Rodz, Founder and CEO of Hello Alice. “If we’re going to navigate this epidemic, we need fast-acting, decisive support from both the private and public sectors who act collaboratively in helping to solve these challenges. We’re honored to be a part of Mastercard’s ongoing work to support the small business community and even more so to see them stepping up when times are hardest to ensure that we all come through this stronger on the other side.”
These commitments complement the ongoing work Mastercard has undertaken to deliver on the unique needs of small business owners. This includes access to day-to-day business management tools and solutions available to the millions of Mastercard small business cardholders through partnerships with Intuit, Salesforce, and Microsoft. Expanded offerings with these partners are available to aid small business owners in navigating through this crisis. Click here to learn more about Mastercard’s small business cardholder benefits.