March 17, 2021, San Jose, Calif. – Stephen Colbert, Host of CBS’s ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,’ announced on last Friday’s episode that 100% of ‘The Late Show’s’ proceeds from a new line of merchandise will be donated to Accion Opportunity Fund’s Small Business Relief Fund to provide critical financial relief and business assistance to small businesses impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns, especially businesses owned by people of color, immigrants, and women. ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ released the merchandise to commemorate one year since the onset of the pandemic.
“While we at ‘The Late Show’ have been lucky enough to keep our jobs and keep our business going during this pandemic, a lot of small businesses have not been so lucky. So, we’re going to donate 100% of the Late Show’s proceeds to Accion Opportunity Fund’s Small Business Relief Fund,” Stephen Colbert said on the show.
Over the past year, millions of small businesses struggled to keep open due to state and local restrictions. Between February and May of 2020, the number of active small businesses in the United States declined by 15%. Black-owned businesses were more significantly disrupted by the pandemic than white-owned businesses, with just 8.8% reporting profitability and growth compared to 14.7%, respectively. Women business owners have been hit especially hard by the pandemic, as well. This is despite the fact that women of color, and Black women in particular, went into 2020 as the most entrepreneurial group in society, starting businesses faster than any other group.
Accion Opportunity Fund is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization providing small business owners with access to capital, networks, and coaching. Over 90% of businesses it supports are owned by people of color, immigrants and women.
“Small businesses need funding, customers, and the community’s support. Accion Opportunity Fund is working with businesses who did their part to shut down in order to help contain the spread of the Coronavirus. And now, they need our help to get Main Street moving again,” said Accion Opportunity Fund CEO Luz Urrutia. “We’re grateful to Mr. Colbert and ‘The Late Show’ team for their generous support and helping Accion Opportunity Fund assist thousands of small businesses to rebuild from this pandemic. This past year has taught us that we have a unique opportunity and moral responsibility to build a more inclusive financial system – one that brings everyone along and provides opportunity to chart their own path. We recommit to helping rebuild a stronger economy that supports equitable access for the small businesses we all cherish and rely upon.”
In April 2020, Accion Opportunity Fund launched its Small Business Relief Fund to provide urgent relief to vulnerable small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 economic shutdowns, raising donations of $5 and up from households across America along with Hollywood celebrities and recording artists, Wall Street titans, and Silicon Valley tech firms. The Small Business Relief Fund provides direct relief to struggling small business owners, having already helped 3,500+ borrowers with loan payment assistance, canceling more than $3M in debt for over 4,700 small business owners, and advising more than 10,000 small business owners who turned to Accion Opportunity Fund for expert advice. Generous donations like the one made by ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ are critical to helping the most vulnerable small businesses make their way back.
The line of merchandise includes t-shirts, mugs, masks and sweatpants that are ‘No Sweat, All Pants’. All of these items are available for purchase on CBS’s online store.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert segment announcing LSSC ‘Covid Tour’ merchandise with 100% of ‘The Late Show’s’ proceeds benefiting Accion Opportunity Fund’s Small Business Relief Fund: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Members of the media only: To request an interview with Accion Opportunity Fund CEO Luz Urrutia, contact Caitlin McShane at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 225-8855.
About Accion Opportunity Fund
Accion Opportunity Fund works to create an inclusive, healthy financial system that supports the nation’s small business owners by connecting entrepreneurs to affordable capital, educational resources, coaching, and networks. Through innovative partnerships and outreach strategies, we reach underserved entrepreneurs — including entrepreneurs of color, low-income entrepreneurs, and women — who often lack access to the financial services they need to build and grow their businesses.
All loans issued by Opportunity Fund Community Development, CA Finance Lender License #6050609.