Media behemoth Meredith is launching a pro bono media and marketing consultation program designed to support BIPOC and LGBTQIA-majority-owned small businesses. The program, Good Impressions, aims to help these companies succeed by driving awareness, supporting sales efforts and providing mentorship. Meredith reaches nearly 95 percent of U.S. women via their media titles, including People, InStyle, Real Simple and more.

The program looks to help serve a vital need. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, BIPOC and LGBTQAI-owned businesses have been hurt disproportionately by the pandemic. Data released in 2020 shows that 66 percent of minority-owned businesses were concerned about permanently closing due to the pandemic.

Simultaneously, 41 percent of Black-owned businesses closed by April 2020, followed by 32 percent of Latinx businesses and 26 percent of Asian businesses, in comparison to 17 percent of white businesses during the same time, per a National Bureau of Economic Research study.

The Good Impressions services will be awarded to a select group of five to 10 businesses at various stages of growth and development and the individual awards will be valued around $100,000. The services offer access to Meredith’s marketing and advertising capabilities. The program will work with food and beauty companies, including those in the consumer package goods products space. Good Impressions, including its application process and the naming of the winning businesses, launched this month. The deadline to apply is May 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. There will also be a second opportunity to apply in September 2021.

“Good Impressions is a meaningful way for Meredith to help bridge the economic gap for minority-owned businesses and to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the communities we serve,” said Catherine Levene, President, Meredith’s National Media Group and Executive Sponsor of :BLACKPRINT, the employee resource group representing Black voices at Meredith.

“Driven by our core values that we can make a positive impact by supporting business owners, our program’s employee founders – Peachy-Jean Retizos, Senior Manager of Innovation, and Sharuq Alam, Senior Manager of Digital Finance, and supported by executive Ahu Terzi, VP of Corporate Beauty – developed this purposeful program. I’m proud of this collaborative effort and can’t wait to meet the talented recipients and help them achieve their dreams.”

Award packages will be based on each company’s needs and goals and will involve multiple forms of assistance, including:

  • Video consultations with key representatives across Meredith, for example business intelligence, research, creative and marketing experts.
  • Introductory meetings with the lead editorial contacts in Meredith’s print, digital, video and social operations.
  • Media packages, including advertising space, email newsletters and more.

The initiative is open to anyone who is 18 years or older, identifies as BIPOC or LGBTQIA, and owns a small business incorporated in the U.S. with sales of around $250,000 annually. The businesses’ products or services must be geared to womxn in food, beauty and the consumer package goods categories.