Klarna, a leading global retail bank, payments and shopping service, has announced the first group of small businesses to receive grants from its recently launched Klarna Small Business Impact Initiative. Created to help small and mid-sized businesses recover from losses due to the pandemic, recipients will be awarded a portion of $4.5 million in Klarna services, including one year of fee-free payments and $40,000 of free media that extends marketing exposure across Klarna’s ecosystem.

In a recent survey of Klarna’s small business partners, 44 percent noted the biggest challenge their business faced as a result of COVID-19 was loss of revenue, 36 percent said the greatest concern facing their business over the next 6 months will be finding new customers, and 48 percent revealed the area they plan to make the biggest investment in is digital marketing.

“Small businesses were among the hardest hit during the pandemic, facing higher rates of store closures, layoffs, and financial hardships, while competing with behemoth shopping sites taking a huge chunk of retail profits,” said David Sykes, Head of North America, Klarna.

“As Americans head back into stores and continue to shop online, we are proud to dedicate resources to help small businesses offer flexible payment solutions that meet customer demand and reach Klarna’s network of more than 18 million U.S. shoppers to further drive sales and marketing.”

Over the coming weeks, 100 small businesses will be selected, located throughout the U.S. and spanning the health and beauty, home and garden, jewelry and accessories, fashion, food and beverage, electronics, and entertainment industries. Many recipients include minority-owned and female-led businesses that were most impacted by the pandemic. About 86 percent of

minority-owned small businesses are concerned about the impact of the pandemic on their business’s future, compared with 72 percent of nonminority-owned businesses, according to the MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index, and women-owned businesses were more likely to report a loss in sales by a gap of seven percentage points compared to male-owned businesses, according to a report by Facebook and the Small Business Roundtable.

The first group of recipients selected include:

MIVE, Columbus, OH
Wearwell, Philadelphia, PA
Satchel & Page, Brooklyn, NY
Old Salt Merchants, Berkeley, CA
LAMIK, Houston, TX
AVYA Skincare, Austin, TX
DUR DOUX, Washington, D.C.
Rhea Cherie, Lanham, MD
Wren & Wild, Bend, OR
Lovebling, Los Angeles, CA
Choose Your Attitude, Bonney Lake, WA
Modi Toys, Edison, NJ
The Pink Pigs Boutique, Melrose, CA
Uhai, Chicago, IL
Legendary Rootz, Phoenix, AZ
Nimble, Costa Mesa, CA
Aroha Oils, Clarksburg, WV
Bohn Jsell, Brooklyn, NY
Taylor Made Polish, Easton, PA
ASHITA, New York, NY
PuffCuff, Marietta, GA
The Kurve Shoppe, North Liberty, IA
Element Mom, Los Angeles, CA
Viking Lair, Anchorage, AK
Access79, Jacksonville, FL
Gorg Boutique, Atlanta, GA
Rejucream, New York, NY
EZE Ryders, San Diego, CA
Karen Karch, New York, NY
DNA Hair Tools, Tucson, AZ
Backyard Play Store, Silver Spring, MD
Sparkle by Jaye, Milwaukee, WI
Beia, New York, NY
Dirty Celebrity, Jersey City, NJ
The House of Perna, Delray Beach, FL
Bon Bon Bon, Hamtramck, MI