Back in April 2021, following the police killing of George Floyd, retail giant Target pledged to invest $2 billion in Black-owned businesses by 2025.
In a report on the company’s one-year progress, Target announced it’s increased the amount of money it’s spent with Black-owned companies and suppliers.
According to a release, the retailer has increased its investments in Black-owned brands, companies, and suppliers by more than 50 percent compared to 2020. It has also more than doubled the number of Black-owned products it carries to more than 100, with representation across every major product category.
It’s all part of the company’s Racial Equity Action and Change (REACH) strategy, which aims at increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion. Target’s goals include adding products from more than 500 Black-owned brands; investing 5 percent of its annual media budget with Black-owned media by the end of 2022; and supporting early-stage Black-owned and diverse businesses through the already launched Forward Founders accelerator program, Insight Grocery Business reported.
Target has boosted the number of Black-owned beauty products by 65 percent compared to 2020, and its food and beverage offerings will include 50 Black-owned brands by the end of the year.
Additionally, Target said it increased investments in Black marketing agencies, construction companies, facilities maintenance, and more by more than 50 percent in 2020.
Target launched the Forward Founders accelerator program to help Black-owned and diverse businesses grow their potential and scale-out faster. So far, Forward Founders has supported more than 30 Black entrepreneurs and a total of 60 diverse founders.
“At Target, our commitment to supporting Black-owned companies and advocating for racial equity touches every aspect of our business — including investing in underrepresented entrepreneurs, launching Black-owned brands at Target’, working with Black designers and suppliers, and increasing visibility through our marketing,” Christina Hennington, Target executive vice president and chief growth officer said in a statement.
Target is just one corporate business that pledged to aid Black business. Corporate America, in fact, made racial pledges of a whopping $50 billion.
To date, America’s 50 biggest public companies and their foundations collectively committed at least $49.5 billion to address racial inequality. But it seems to be more good business than charity, as the donations will boost business for the corporations.
“More than 90 percent of that amount — $45.2 billion — is allocated as loans or investments they could stand to profit from, more than half in the form of mortgages,” The Washington Post reported.
Unless the other corporations release annual reports on their pledges, as has Target, it will be hard to track how many of the companies have kept their promises.
“Because these are pledges, there isn’t any one entity that will be holding these organizations accountable,” Una Osili, an associate dean at Indiana University, told The Washington Post. “I wonder about the follow-through — whether they will be there in three to four years to continue to lift these issues.”
In 2021, The Post analyzed data provided by 44 of the 50 largest companies and public statements and company reports to track pledges made after May 2020. It found that 37 companies have confirmed disbursing at least $1.7 billion of the $49.5 billion pledged. Seven companies that provided data on their racial justice commitments would not give details on how much they had already spent.