Abbott (NYSE:ABT) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) announced a collaboration to address inequities in healthcare.
Through a $37.5 million initiative, Abbott and LISC plan to provide diverse small businesses with the tailored growth capital, loans and support they need to compete, grow and create jobs.
According to a news release, the initiative supports diversity in the healthcare industry by advancing a more inclusive supply chain for Abbott and other healthcare companies while also contributing to broader economic and health equity. Abbott and LISC seek to break down barriers preventing small, diverse businesses from providing manufacturing and essential products in healthcare.
“We’re committed to tearing down the barriers that diverse small-business owners often face, and to building a more inclusive supply chain in healthcare,” Abbott Chairperson and CEO Robert B. Ford said in the release. “Our new initiative with LISC takes real, pragmatic steps to make that happen.”
Abbott will contribute $25 million to the initiative, with $12.5 million in loan capital and $12.5 million in grants to LISC, which will match the investment with an additional $12.5 million in loan capital to total $37.5 million.
The initiative targets three ways to support small, diverse businesses: growth capital to help overcome hurdles to expansion, business loans that wouldn’t be available through conventional lenders and technical assistance to help fulfill investment and loan requirements as well as identify and address specific barriers to growth.
Eligible small businesses include those that are majority-owned by people of color, including Black, Latino, Asian and Native American business owners, women, veterans, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTQ and other historically underrepresented groups in the U.S. with more than two years in operation and an ability to deploy capital toward business improvements and growth.
Businesses that qualify must focus on manufacturing and essential business-to-business products that support the production of diagnostics, nutrition products, medical devices and other health technologies.
The joint initiative falls in line with Abbott’s 2030 sustainability plan that seeks to advance health access and equity through partnership. The sustainability plan has specific targets to increase overall spending with diverse and small businesses by 50% by 2030 and with Black- and women-owned businesses by 150% by 2025.
“This partnership is a shared investment in the future of our communities and the strength of our supply chains,” LISC CEO Lisa L. Glover said. “We’re proud to partner with Abbott to deliver capital and technical services that enhance the infrastructure for small business growth, so owners from diverse backgrounds are better able to compete for contracts, hire more staff, and fuel economic opportunity in the communities where they operate.”