i Novo family,
First off, thank you so much for being a member of our family. I know your inbox is probably filled with emails from CEOs of large corporations responding to recent events. I don’t want to send a rambling message, so I’ll keep this short and to the point. Juneteenth is a holiday worth celebrating. It represents a turning point in our nation’s history. We’ve come a long way since 1865, but we still have a long way to go to uphold the promise that all people are created equal and deserve to be treated as equals. We are also disturbed by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others who have been unjustly killed by law enforcement in our country. We stand with those protesting against racism, police violence, and the systems of oppression that restrict the freedoms of black Americans and other non-black people of color.
While these protests, a global pandemic, and economic recession rage on, it’s important that we understand the disproportionate effect that COVID-19 continues to have on black-owned businesses in the US, which the NY Times does an excellent job of bringing to light. It’s clearer than ever that universal access to banking products is still not a part of the reality we live in, and we’re working to change that.
We’re building Novo for all types of small businesses, whether they’re seasonal, venture-funded, or totally bootstrapped. Small businesses drive the US economy, making up over 45% of our national economic output. In the last 10 years, more than 1 million minority-owned, small businesses were created. Those 1 million small businesses created 4.7 million jobs and generated close to $700 billion in revenue. This is a truly impressive feat and one that we’re hoping to accelerate.
Black Lives Matter,
Founder & CEO
p.s. For those who are not members of these communities, we must pay attention to the events happening around us and listen to those who have been silenced and ignored for so long. There are simple things that each of us can do to make ourselves and our nation better:
- Donate to supportive institutions and non-profits (if you’re financially able),
- Support black and non-black people of color-owned businesses,
- Vote for elected officials who share these values,
- Practice empathy, and