Retail Business Services, the services arm of Ahold Delhaize USA that supports the retailer’s strategies and development of private brands for its banners, is donating $100,000 to the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s Business Consortium Fund and will become a member of the organization.
The Business Consortium Fund helps with financing and technical support of NMSDC-certified businesses, and during the coronavirus pandemic many of these companies have been in need.
According to data from the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number of active business owners in the United States quickly plummeted in the early stages of the pandemic by 3.3 million or 22%, with minority-owned businesses being hit especially hard. Since then, Black-owned businesses have continued to struggle, experiencing a 41% drop in active businesses, the research said.
Retail Business Services’ $100,000 donation will be administered as low interest loans to NMSDC-certified, minority-owned businesses, with specific designation to support these Black-owned businesses significantly compromised by the pandemic.
“It is a priority to support suppliers and partners during this exceptionally difficult time, just as they have supported customers and local communities,” said Roger Wheeler, president, Retail Business Services. “Through our partnership with organizations like NMSDC, Retail Business Services is committed to uplifting minority-owned businesses as they continue to navigate today’s changing realities.”
Retail Business Services is currently a member of four of NMSDC’s 23 regional affiliates. This new $100,000 donation to the organization comes as part of a previous $5 million commitment to support racial equality that Retail Business Services made in collaboration with other Ahold Delhaize USA companies in June. As part of that commitment, the companies of Ahold Delhaize USA are continuing to work with associates and community partners to support education, advocacy and business development within the Black and African American community.
“We hold ourselves accountable for lasting change where we work and live,” Wheeler said. “This is just one small part of our ongoing journey to support equity and inclusion.”