Mastercard announces $250m support for small businesses hit by coronavirus

9 Apr 2020

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Mastercard has announced a new funding package for small businesses that have had to close their doors as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mastercard has joined a number of other companies offering financial assistance to businesses that have been forced to close due to restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a blog post, the payments giant said it was committing $250m over the next five years to support small businesses in the US and other markets where it operates. Additionally, in the US, it will offer up to 28m small businesses cyber-vulnerability assessments and identity theft prevention.

These services will be offered for free for three months, and will also include access to the company’s data analytics solution, Local Market Intelligence. The company said this provides insight into local retail sales patterns using anonymised data.

“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.”

‘We need fast-acting, decisive support’

Carolyn Rodz, founder and CEO of Hello Alice, said of the funding: “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.

“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.”

Another payments giant also recently announced plans to support businesses during the pandemic, with the Visa Foundation revealing it is to commit $210m to support small and micro businesses.

The first programme of $10m is designated for immediate emergency relief to support charitable organisations on the front lines responding to the pandemic. The remaining $200m will support small businesses across the world, with a focus on fostering women’s economic advancement over the next five years.

Al Kelly, chair and CEO of Visa, said at its launch: “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.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic