Capital One announced Tuesday the Capital One business grant program, which aims to support Black-owned businesses, and an upgrade to the Spark Cash Plus business credit card's welcome bonus.
According to the press release, Capital One is partnering with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) "to support Black-owned businesses in building resilient futures," by awarding $10,000 grants to Black-owned businesses. The program aims to supplement revenue that was lost during the height of the pandemic.
"The combination of preexisting systemic inequities and pandemic-related setbacks has created a uniquely challenging environment for Black business owners to navigate," said AEO President and CEO Connie Evans in the press release. The new partnership with Capital One seeks to create lasting success for Black-owned businesses.
Capital One also announced on Tuesday that new Spark Cash Plus cardholders can earn up to $3,000 from the card's welcome bonus. Spend $5,000 in the first three months to receive $500, and spend $50,000 within six months to earn $2,500. The card earns 2% cash back for every purchase and has an annual fee of $150.
The welcome bonus (and subsequent rewards for spending $50,000 in six months) could help small business owners with high expenses add to their savings, help out employees, or purchase new equipment.
According to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.3 million people quit their jobs in December, meaning there are likely many new entrepreneurs looking to start their own business in the new year.
Going into 2022, small businesses are anticipated to see record growth. In its Business Insights report, Intuit estimates a record-breaking 17 million new small businesses will start this year.
"At Capital One, we know that small businesses are the heart of our communities, and now, more than ever, they need our support to endure and thrive," a spokesperson for Capital One told ZDNet in an email.
The grant program and new welcome bonus are just two of the most recent programs Capital One has started to help new small business owners.
Other programs include the company's business hub where business owners can find advice and resources for navigating pandemic-related challenges, and the Capital One Impact Initiative which is an initial $200 million, five-year commitment to help underserved communities, part of which includes small business support.
"In these challenging times, it's important for all business owners to know that they are not alone and that there are resources available that can offer both support and community," Capital One said in the email.