In honor of Small Business Month, Klarna, the global retail bank, payments and shopping service, is donating $4.5 million of services to small and medium-sized businesses. Applications will be accepted throughout May, ending May 31. Klarna will select 100 businesses to receive one free year of payment services and $40,000 worth of median services, and will focus on those most impacted by the pandemic, including minority and female-led businesses.

Facebook and the Small Business Roundtable report that 22 percent of U.S. small businesses were closed in February 2021, near to the pandemic peak of 23 percent in May 2020. About 27 percent of minority-led SMEs closed, while 18 percent of other businesses closed, and 25 percent of female-led businesses closed.

To qualify, businesses must be integrated with one of Klarna’s affiliated partner platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Shift4Shop or Magento.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy, and it’s no secret they have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. With consumers shifting more of their shopping toward e-commerce, these businesses have seen higher rates of store closures, layoffs, and reduced hours and wages,” said David Sykes, Head of US, Klarna. “As the economic recovery gains steam, Klarna is proud to offer small businesses the support, visibility and flexibility needed to make a successful comeback.”

Klarna, which has more than 250,000 retail global partners and 16 million U.S. shoppers, expects their donation to enable businesses to unlock a new customer base, gain greater exposure and product visibility, and build brand affinity through relevant content curation, all with a high level of independence and control.

Small businesses can apply to participate in Klarna’s program here.