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Costco Contributes $25 Million To Black-Led Community Development

Costco is committing $25 million to an investment fund designed to empower black-led financial institutions and community development efforts. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) rolled out the Black Economic Development Fund earlier in the summer and is encouraging companies to make investments designed to improve economic opportunity for Black Americans.

The fund seeks to help close the racial wealth gap, which could cost the U.S. economy as much as $1.5 trillion by 2028, according to data from McKinsey. Costco is the second investor following Netflix, which seeded the fund in July. LISC expects to further expand the investor base and hold the fund’s first closing in the fall, with more than $100 million in commitments from public and private corporations.

“We are thrilled to be a part of an investment strategy that
will help some of the communities where we operate in the U.S.,” said Craig
Jelinek, President and CEO of Costco in a statement. “With LISC, we are
supporting a more inclusive economy to break down race and class as barriers to
opportunity and growth.”

The fund has preliminarily identified $30 million in
potential investments in both urban and rural communities. It will focus on
making deposits in black-owned banks and offering financing to minority
businesses, charter schools, affordable housing projects and athletic
facilities to support economic development in communities of color starting in
Q4 2020.

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