Beyoncé has announced she’s going to donate $1 million to small black-owned businesses in the US.
The singer announced the extra cash through her BeyGOOD foundation, which is working with the NAACP civil rights organisation.
They started the partnership in July, with the aim of helping to “strengthen small businesses and ensure economic empowerment for Black businesses”.
Beyoncé has previously spoken about how Covid-19 is disproportionately affecting African-American citizens.
In a video message at the Together At Home concert earlier this year, she said: “This virus is killing black people at an alarmingly high rate here in America”.
She said the impact was particularly high because black Americans “disproportionately belong to essential parts of the workforce, that do not have the luxury of working from home,” including delivery workers, mail carriers and sanitation employees.
“Please protect yourselves,” she concluded. “We are one family and we need you.”
Data from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that 33% of people who’ve been taken to hospital with the virus are African-American, yet they only make up 13% of the US population.
Grants of $10,000 have so far been given out to 20 businesses and there will be a second round of applications later this month.
In June the singer demanded justice for a black woman killed by police in a letter to the attorney general in the US state of Kentucky.
Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot eight times when officers entered her home in Louisville on 13 March.
Beyoncé asked African-American people to “vote like our life depends on it” in this year’s American presidential elections.
In an acceptance speech at the Black Entertainment Television (BET) awards. she said: “You’re proving to our ancestors that their struggles were not in vain.”
Former First Lady Michelle Obama presented the award, saying: “To my girl, I just want to say you inspire me. You inspire all of us.”
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