SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 14 June 2021, Monday | النسخة العربية

Google disburse $75 million in financial aid to SMEs

Google has partnered with the European Investment Fund and organizations in Latin America and Asia to disburse $75 million in financial aid to small and medium enterprises that are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The grant is part of an $800 million commitment the Alphabet-owned company announced in March to support businesses that were affected by the pandemic.

Google will invest in two EIF funds – $15 million in loan capital that will support more than 1,000 European small businesses and $10 million in a venture capital fund that will help nearly 200 life sciences companies.

“We set out to partner with organizations who share our desire to empower small businesses in underserved communities, which are often overlooked by traditional lenders,” Juan Rajlin, vice president and treasurer of Alphabet and Google, said.

“We have partnered … with the belief that public-private partnerships can provide creative solutions to meet the needs of small businesses in this critical time.”

Nearly 55 per cent of small and medium businesses around the world reported lower sales last October compared with the same month in 2019 after facing disruptions caused by Covid-19, according to a survey by Facebook, the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

In Latin America, Google has teamed up with the Inter-American Development Bank to distribute $8 million to eligible businesses in the region.

“Two out of three workers in Latin America are employed by a small business, which makes their success one of the most essential elements for economic recovery in the region,” Rajlin said.

Google is also working with global non-government partners to provide resources to businesses.

It has set up a $26 million loan initiative with San Francisco-based Kiva, which allows people to lend money through the internet to low-income entrepreneurs in 77 countries, to facilitate businesses in Africa, Middle East and Indonesia.

Google has also announced a separate $1m grant to help Kiva build capacity for local partnerships.

In India, the company will invest $15 million to fund SMEs and is in discussions with local partners. It will also provide $1 million to the Ogen-Israel social loan fund that gives low-interest loans to micro and small businesses in Israel.