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Atlanta plays an important role in Netflix funding black businesses



Atlanta business consultants played the role of matchmaker in Netflix’s decision to allocate more cash to lenders who help black-owned businesses.

Yardstick Management, founded by Ebbie Parsons in 2012, has been consulting with Netflix for several months to explore how to add more minorities to its executives. He also introduced the video streaming giant to black business leaders.

In a recent consultation meeting, Netflix executives realized that they promote another way of diversification. The company held $5 billion in cash on March 31, mainly in large banks. Parsons said that by distributing part of the cash to institutions that prefer to lend to minority business owners, Netflix can be a role model.

He said: “The allocation of a large amount of resources to black-owned enterprises may lead to many amazing things.”

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This is a critical moment for black-owned business owners, many of whom have closed or reduced their business due to COVID-19 and have historically received little capital.

Netflix said on Tuesday that it would allocate $100 million to financial institutions to “directly support black American communities.” The first step involves establishing a $25 million investment fund to serve black financial institutions and depositing $10 million in funds to the Mississippi Credit Cooperative.

Netflix confirmed Parsons’ role in this decision.

Parsons said that Netflix is ​​not a newcomer to promote diversity. Netflix has produced several documentaries, including the most recent “Thirteen,” which documents the civil rights struggle. It reached an agreement with Barack and Michelle Obama to produce a documentary in 2018. Its CEO, Reed Hastings, donated $120 million to the United Black University Foundation, Spelman College and Morehouse College in June.

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As other large companies follow the development of Netflix, some local black-owned banks may see more deposits. There are four regulated depository institutions in the Atlanta metropolitan area, most of which are black shareholders or board members-Atlanta Citizens Trust Bank, Atlanta Credit Cooperative, 1st Choice Credit Cooperative and Big BethelA.M.E. Church Federal Credit Union.

Atlanta-based Hope Action has partnered with many large banks to provide loans to minority-owned small businesses. The regional bank has 66 branches in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The bank pledged on Tuesday to provide $12 million to plans to promote racial equality, including $2 million in deposits to minority-owned banks and community development financial institutions.

Parsons has another personal connection with the business development of ethnic minorities. His wife, Ayana Parsons, is a general partner of the Atlanta venture capital fund Fearless Fund, which invests in businesses founded by black women.