Teaming up with Daymond John, star of ABC's "Shark Tank"
Small businesses with diverse leadership are encouraged to apply for a chance to pitch their products directly to Lowe's executives. Winners will be given shelf space in Lowe's stores.
"Lowe's is giving these minority-owned businesses a much-deserved chance to shine while uncovering unique, smart products that will make Lowe's shelves even more appealing to customers," said John.
The types of products Lowe's executives are interested in include areas like home gardening, decorations, antimicrobial products, traditional and non-traditional home improvement products, and farm equipment.
While Lowe's pitch contest is being compared to ABC's "Shark Tank," especially with Daymond John as the spokesperson, Lowe's won't be taking any cut of the profits from any of the small business owners.
Further, Lowe's pitch contest isn't the only initiative the home improvement retailer has been making with the intent on helping diverse small businesses become established, stay alive, and even grow during the pandemic.
At $55 million in donations, Lowe's is the largest donor to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation's (LISC) COVID Rapid Relief & Resiliency Fund, the nation's largest nonprofit dedicated to community development. Individual grants range from $5,000 to $20,000, with $30 million total going to minority-owned and women-owned small businesses, and $25 million allocated to rural small businesses.
Participating in the pitch contest and LISC's grant program may help to differentiate Lowe's during the pandemic, aiding the store in appealing to a variety of consumers in a different way than major competitor Home Depot
"Although we're a big company, we're fortunate to be classified as an essential business. We understand that the success of our broader macro economy is going to be the small businesses and the ability for small businesses to continue to grow and thrive," said Lowe's CEO Marvin Ellison.
"We understand that Covid-19 has created an incredible strain on the economic viability of many of these small businesses," Ellison said. "We are, as a large company, doing our best to help."