According to The New York Times, the coronavirus is disproportionately impacting Black-owned businesses. Research shows that Black-owned businesses tend to be in the industries hit hardest by the shutdown: restaurant and retail. They are also less likely to have easy access to loans, traditional banking partners, and federal funding.

This mix of adversities are toxic to the success of a business, especially those that are small and generally serve a localized community.

This is why, as part of SAP’s commitment to fighting injustice and advancing racial equality, the company is launching a new program, Spotlight Black Businesses. It is designed to promote small Black-owned businesses — nominated by SAP employees — both via social media and advertising support.

The movement for racial equality is amplified by lives recently lost at the hands of injustice, including Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, which have inspired social uprisings across the country.

“In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King urged us to pursue financial inclusion, saying, ‘The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by eliminating poverty,’” Judith Williams, chief diversity and inclusion officer of SAP, reflects. “Black business owners are often the bedrock of communities, and they provide a ‘ladder to success’ for others, providing benefits for generations. SAP is proud to shine a light and do our small part in building a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable future.”

At a time when Black-owned small businesses are already struggling to stay afloat, they are also called upon to help fight systemic injustice. Curfews, armed presence, and protests make it more difficult for these businesses to thrive during the pandemic. SAP is committed to turning the discussion about fighting injustice into action.

The Spotlight Black Businesses initiative website is a hub to find participating businesses from all over the United States and across all industries. SAP is proud to shine a light on ice cream shops, coffeehouses, bookstores, professional services, and so many more.

“At SAP, we believe it is our responsibility to activate resources in support of solving today’s most pressing issues,” Alicia Tillman, global chief marketing officer of SAP, reinforces. “Through Spotlight Black Businesses, we are honored to showcase small Black-owned business across our marketing channels and dedicate a portion of our advertising spend to help ensure they are thriving. We are committed to being part of the change and taking action to combat social and racial injustice.”

According to Dominque Landry, owner of Common Ground Management in Philadelphia, PA, “When things are going not according to plan, that’s when entrepreneurs really rise to the occasion.”

SAP is helping entrepreneurs like Landry drive innovation by helping his business thrive despite the coronavirus and social injustice.

We encourage you to check out the website and follow the campaign hashtag #SpotlightBlackBusinesses. In this unprecedented time, we especially encourage you to use your purchasing power mindfully and choose to patronize these and other Black-owned small businesses.