Retail Business Services, the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA, announced this week that the retailer will become a National Corporate Member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), joining over 400 United States corporations. In addition, Retail Business Services will be making a $100,000 donation to the NMSDC’s Business Consortium Fund Inc. (NMSDC BCF), America’s most comprehensive financing and technical support organization exclusively serving NMSDC-certified businesses.
The impact of COVID-19 on business owners has been drastic and destructive. 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 percent, with minority-owned businesses being hit especially hard. Since then, Black-owned businesses have continued to struggle, experiencing a 41 percent drop in active businesses.
Retail Business Services’ $100,000 donation to the Business Consortium Fund 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.”
NMSDC plays a crucial role in advancing opportunities for businesses that have been underserved by the greater lending community. Whether a small minority-owned organization or a billion-dollar enterprise, NMSDC is committed to helping solve the growing need for supplier diversity.
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,” added Wheeler. “This is just one small part of our ongoing journey to support equity and inclusion.”