– Abbott and LISC invest more than $37 million to empower and grow various small businesses that supply essential manufacturing and commodities to healthcare businesses
– Initiative supports Abbott and LISC’s commitment to increasing diversity in healthcare, creating jobs and strengthening economies in under-resourced communities
ABBOTT PARK, Ill., and NEW YORK, March 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Abbott (NYSE: ABT) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) announced a $37.5 million initiative to provide diversified small businesses with the growth capital, loans and tailored support they need to compete, grow and create jobs. The initiative will support greater diversity in healthcare by advancing a more inclusive supply chain for Abbott and other healthcare companies, while contributing to broader economic and health equity.
In the healthcare supply chain, the small businesses that help produce diagnostics, nutrition products, medical devices and other healthcare technologies do not reflect the diversity of the communities they serve – this which reflects a wider diversity gap in businesses across America. According to United States Census Bureau, only 19% of U.S. businesses are owned by people of color and 21% by women, despite making up 40% and more than half of the population, respectively. Diverse small business owners — including people of color and women — can help drive change, but many face challenges, with 50% unable to access loans to expand their business.
The Abbott-LISC Initiative to Support Diverse Businesses in Healthcare aims to break down the barriers that prevent diverse small businesses from supplying critical manufacturing and healthcare products. By providing targeted support, Abbott and LISC are working to build a stronger, more diverse healthcare supply chain, and healthier local communities and economies.
“We are committed to breaking down the barriers that diverse small business owners often face and building a more inclusive healthcare supply chain,” said Robert B. Ford, chairman and CEO of Abbott. “Our new initiative with LISC takes concrete and pragmatic steps to achieve this.”
“This partnership is a shared investment in the future of our communities and the strength of our supply chains,” said LISC’s CEO. Lisa L. Glover. “We are proud to partner with Abbott to provide investment and technical services that improve 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.”
Targeted support for various small businesses
Abbott contributes $25 million for the initiative, including $12.5 million in loan capital and $12.5 million in grants to LISC to provide investment funding and targeted support. LISC completes the investment with an additional investment $12.5 million in loan capital. This funding will support various small businesses in three ways:
- Growth capital: With support from the Abbott grant, LISC will provide interest-free capital to help companies overcome barriers to expansion, such as investing in management systems to comply with regulatory and environmental requirements. Companies will repay LISC if and when they meet certain growth targets.
- Business loans: Funding from Abbott and LISC will provide flexible and affordable loans with terms that would not typically be available from conventional lenders.
- Technical assistance: An Abbott grant will help LISC provide tailored support to companies accessing capital and loans through the initiative, including assistance with meeting investment and loan requirements and identifying and addressing specific business barriers to the growth.
Eligible small businesses are those 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 United States with more than two years of operation and an ability to deploy capital for business improvement and growth. To be eligible, companies must focus on essential business-to-business manufacturing and products that support the production of diagnostics, nutrition products, medical devices and other health technologies.
The collaboration is part of a larger work to advance diversity, equity and opportunity
This joint initiative supports Abbott 2030 Sustainability Planwhich aims to advance healthcare access and equity through partnerships and build a diverse, resilient and responsible supply chain – with specific goals to increase overall spend with small and diverse businesses by 50 % by 2030 and with Black and women-owned businesses 150% by 2025. This work complements Abbott’s ongoing commitment to addressing broader health equity challenges, including the increase diversity in clinical trialscreation STEM opportunities for women and underrepresented groups, and empower communities to break down social and economic barriers to better health.
The work also supports LISC 10X Project, which closes racial gaps in health, wealth, and opportunity across the country. The initiative helps break down historical and systemic barriers by investing in businesses, community organizations, developers, and projects that are led by and for communities of color.
ISCL is one of the nation’s largest community development organizations, helping to build vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so people and places can thrive. Since our creation in 1979, LISC has invested $24 billion to create more than 436,320 affordable homes and apartments and develop 74.4 million square feet of commercial, community and educational space.
Abbott is a global healthcare leader helping people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the healthcare spectrum, with leading companies and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. Our 113,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries.