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Atlanta plays a role in Netflix’s funding for black businesses



An Atlanta business consultant played the matchmaker in Netflix’s decision to distribute more money to lenders who help Black-owned companies.

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

During a recent consulting session, Netflix executives came up with another way to promote diversity. The company holds $ 5 billion in cash on March 31, mainly from large banks. By distributing some of that money to institutions that favor lending money to owners of minority businesses, Netflix could set an example, said Parsons.

“There are so many phenomenal things that can result from allocating significant resources to black-owned businesses,”

; he said.

There is a crucial time for Black-owned entrepreneurs, many of whom have closed or downsized operations due to COVID-19 and who historically have had less access to capital.

Netflix said Tuesday that it will allocate $ 100 million to financial institutions “which directly support black communities in the United States.” The first step includes creating a $ 25 million investment fund to serve black financial institutions and the filing of $ 10 million in a Mississippi credit union.

Netflix confirmed Parsons’ role in the decision.

Netflix is ​​not a beginner in promoting diversity, said Parsons. Netflix has produced several documentaries, including the recent “13”, which documents civil rights struggles. He reached an agreement in 2018 with Barack and Michelle Obama to produce documentaries. And its CEO, Reed Hastings, donated $ 120 million to the United Negro College Fund, Spelman College and Morehouse College in June.

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While other large companies follow Netflix’s lead, some black-owned local banks may see multiple deposits. Metro Atlanta has four regulated depository institutions with a majority of black shareholders or board members: Citizens Trust Bank in Atlanta, Credit Union of Atlanta, 1st Choice Credit Union and Big Bethel A.M.E. Federal Credit Union of the Church.

The Hope operation in Atlanta has partnered with numerous large banks for minority-owned small business loans. The Bank of Regions, which has 66 branches in the Atlanta Metro, pledged $ 12 million to programs that promote racial equity on Tuesday, including $ 2 million in deposits with minority-owned banks and financial institutions for community development.

Parsons has another personal connection with the development of the minority business. His wife, Ayana Parsons, is a general partner of the Fearless Fund, an Atlanta venture capital fund that invests in activities of black women.