On what is queen Bey's bday (September 4), the musician’s BeyGOOD foundation has announced that Beyoncé and the foundation will be donating $1 million to small Black-owned small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 and lockdown measures.
This new donation is the second round of funding across the pandemic – back in July when COVID-19 and the crisis was first felt across the world and peaking, the musician and partners the NAACP announced the Black-owned Small Business Impact Fund. It gave 20 US, Black-owned businesses grants of $10,000.
The BeyGOOD Foundation, an organisation founded by the superstar back in 2013, has provided funding and support to those helping provide clean water in Flint, Michigan, and to Hurricane Harvey victims back in 2017.
“Proud to announce $1m in additional funds from Beyoncé to help Black-owned small businesses,” a statement from BeyGOOD reads. “Round two of funding opens this month with our partner, NAACP.”
The first funding instalments supported an array of businesses in Atlanta, her hometown Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and New York, from a Black hairdressers and shop to theatre and performing arts school, a bakery, a martial arts school, a tennis academy, a restaurant, and small fashion label.
Back in April, Bey’s foundation also teamed up with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and UCLA to “support organizations that are on the ground 24/7”, which saw them give groups including the United Medical Center, Bread of Life, Matthew 25 a $6 million donation that supported “basic necessities, including food, water, cleaning supplies, medicines, face masks, and personal hygiene items”.
Beyoncé officially released her visual album, Black Is King, at the end of July. Coming in at 85 minutes, Black Is King “reimagines the lessons” of Disney’s live action Lion King reboot from 2019 – which also starred the singer as the voice of Nala – “for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns.” The film is the visual companion piece to The Gift, her Lion King soundtrack. It also features appearances from guests including Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o, and Tina Knowles-Lawson. The pandemic and restrictions, however, impacted shooting plans. “We were planning to add more to the story,” director Kwasi Fordjour recently toldThe Fader. “We had to table that idea and really look at everything we had and go, ‘OK this is what we’ve got, here is the messaging, here is the story. How can we enhance this?’ We had the key ingredients and all of those things helped tell the story the way we told it.”
In recent months, Beyoncé has also raised awareness of the campaigns to seek justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Jacob Blake.