FILE - This March 11, 2015, file photo shows the Meredith Corp. headquarters building in Des Moines, Iowa. Media and publishing giant Meredith Corp. says it is selling its Fortune brand for $150 million in cash to Fortune Media Group. The deal, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close by the end of the year. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Meredith Corp., the publisher of People, InStyle and Food & Wine, is offering free media and marketing consultation services to Black, indigenous, people of color and LGBTQ majority-owned small beauty and food businesses.

The “Good Impressions” initiative will provide help to between five and 10 businesses at various stages of growth and development, with Meredith estimating that each company will receive the equivalent of $100,000 worth of services, including marketing and advertising capabilities. Businesses can apply from today and the successful applicants will be named in the second quarter.

“We know that BIPOC- and LGBTQIA-owned businesses have been hurt disproportionately by this pandemic, but also there’s an economic gap and we want to help bridge that gap for minority-owned businesses,” said Catherine Levene, president of Meredith’s national media group and executive sponsor of :Blackprint, the employee resource group representing Black voices at Meredith. “We thought that given our expertise in media and data and marketing that we could really provide help for these businesses.”

According to the media company, award packages will be based on each business’ needs and goals. The support on offer may include video consultations with experts; introductory meetings with editorial leads across print, digital and social media; and media customized for the individual company’s needs.

Good Impressions will be open to anyone who is 18 years or older, identifies as Black, indigenous, a person of color or LGBTQ, and owns a small business with annual sales of around $250,000. The businesses’ products or services must also be geared to women in food, beauty and the consumer package goods categories, it said.

“Of course, these businesses are in the communities that we serve already,” added Levene. “We help beauty companies every day, from the largest beauty companies in the world to startups in the beauty category and so what we believe we can do is help these smaller companies who wouldn’t necessarily have access to resources that we have inside Meredith Corp.”

Meredith has not made public any data on the diversity of its workforce, but plans to do so shortly. In January, it named Diane Parker vice president of diversity and inclusion, succeeding Shona Pinnock, who joined Louis Vuitton Americas, while at the end of last year InStyle signed up to the 15 Percent Pledge, a nonprofit that advocates for the representation of Black people and businesses in retail and media.

 

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