Following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police, online payments giant PayPal announced it will invest $500 million in black and minority businesses.
The company is also spending $30 million for PayPal diversity programs and grants for nonprofits and black owned businesses.
This is not the first time PayPal has stood up for minorities.
In 2016, the company cancelled its plans to build a 400 person office in North Carolina, after the state passed an anti Transgender Law.
The company banned conspiracy theory site infowars.
It followed up by banning the social site gab for hosting anti semitic posts.
So Joining me now is Dan Schulman, the CEO of PayPal.
Dan, thanks for joining me.
Pleasure to be here with you.
So, PayPal does payments and moves around money.
Okay, so why get involved in these political issues?
I read that you got death threats after North Carolina.
So my first question is, is this backlash worth it?
Well, I my mom asked me the same question.
Then after I got all of those death threats and you know what I told her and what we talked about inside the company is that.
You know, values are fundamental to how somebody defines themselves how a company defines themselves.
And so you have to act on your values.
Values can't just be words on a wall.
Otherwise, you're just propaganda.
You have to live them, you have to act them out.
And you have to demonstrate them visibly.
Tell me about your plans for the new investment fund.
You need to do more than just condemn racism.
You need to be what we call and I think we probably saw this from somebody anti racist.
What anti racists means to us at least is that you have to be part of the fight.
You need to stand up and be involved.
You can't just say words you have to create actions.
And we've seen that a lot of people were, giving Half a million million dollars to charities and, you know, to organisations that fight the good fight on the ground.
And we thought that was important for us to do as well.
But we thought, really we needed to to do much more than that.
And so, we announced that that we were Supporting this movement against systemic racism, really focused on trying to do something that was that we distinctively could help.
Which is kind of looking at what the racial wealth gap is, and the racial wealth gap.
It today is basically the same as it was back in the last civil rights movement back in the late 1960s.
So there really has been no improvement.
And so we decided to make a major commitment 530 million dollars.
Some of it more short term oriented.
That's the 30 million you referenced upfront, but also put in place a very substantial amount of money to help over the long term because at some point.
You know, the matches start to fade away, but the problem still exists and we wanted to demonstrate and maybe even inspire others that this was something that we needed to do.
To be involved in over the long run.
Well, how quickly do you think that money will be invested?
So it's $500 million.
It's not a small amount.
So are you talking to over the course of five years, 10 years the first year?
What's your expectation?
Well, let me talk about just how quickly the first 30 million When 10 million of that was grants that we were gonna give to black owned businesses because black on businesses over the last three months during COVID-19
Some 41% of them have gone out of business.
That's double the rate of all other small businesses.
And as you probably know, black owned businesses also have a much more difficult time.
Getting traditional lending, even during good times, the amount of financing they can raise, whether it be equity financing or just loans is much lower than the national average.
But in this time, it's practically impossible for them to get a loan.
And so what we said is we're going to give $10 million in grants These aren't loans.
These are grants to black owned small businesses that need cash now, it's just a matter of survival for them.
And from the time we announced this, to the time that money will be flowing from that $10 million and we've had over.
55,000 applications for that $10 million will be less than two weeks.
And so we really intend to move quite quickly.
That $500 million.
It doesn't have a timeframe.
We're not saying that'll be over the next five years or one year.
We want to do this.
In a thoughtful, measured way, so it has the maximum amount of impact, but we want to start moving on it ASAP.>> You talk about how the wealth gap hasn't really shifted much in in years, if not decades.
Persistent problem that I've written about since being a tech reporter and granted that's only about five years is this issue of tech companies repeatedly promising to hire more minorities support more black women.
And unfortunately, so many of those initiatives have failed over the years.
So now there are all these new programs, all these new initiatives, all this new funding being announced by Apple, Amazon, Google, many, many others.
Do you think things are different this time?
And do you think that enough attention will go To recruiting and retaining black workers, engineers, and managers.
Now, I think that's a great question, Ben.
It's question like, is this a moment or is this a movement?
And I think that is You know, something that I've been talking to a lot of black leaders about across the country.
That's why I think it's really important that these aren't just one time grants that are given or something like that, that these are multi year commitments and I'm seeing some companies step up to multi year.
Here's the interesting thing.
And it's the reason why diversity and inclusion is the top value at PayPal, is when you have a more diverse workforce.
You perform better.
And there's like one study after another that shows that
And I would say that we're still in the very early innings of the activism that's been unleashed since George Floyd's death.
But if you could guess, going back to what you had said whether this is a moment or a movement, what would your expectation be?
I think the key is to take advantage of this moment.
Whether it be nonprofits, organizations that fight for social justice and the private sector, to really step up with programs And resources that aren't just for the moment, but that are, multi year in nature.
cuz I think, as with everything, things need to start tipping and then they hit a tipping point and then they keep moving and I think we've had Reason for us to start that momentum.
And and I think if we can just keep moving on it, it'll, it'll start screaming.>>Okay, Dan, thank you so much for your time.
I really appreciate it and I'll very much look forward to having a chance to chat with you again.
Thank you very much.>>Thank you so much for having me.
Appreciate it as well.