Nov 12, 2020 Community

Redoubling Our Commitment to Empower Local Communities

Five-Year, $200M Main Street Strong Pledge to support merchants, Dashers and local communities

DoorDash was founded with a mission to grow and empower local economies. Never have local economies and the communities that sustain them been more challenged than in 2020. With many of those challenges likely to extend into next year, we recognize that our commitment to supporting the people and local businesses that power DoorDash has never been more important. Our platform only works if it works for all stakeholders, and our company will only be successful if success is shared.

That is why we’re excited to announce our five-year, $200 million Main Street Strong Pledge to empower local communities. These resources, which we will begin deploying immediately, will be dedicated towards Main Street Strong initiatives and directed by DoorDash in ongoing consultation with our Dasher Community Council, Voices from Dashers of Color Council, Restaurant Advisory Council and other community partners. They will include investments, programs, products, services, and benefits to:

  • Enable Dashers to achieve greater financial empowerment and meet their professional goals;
  • Empower local merchants and enable greater and more diverse equality of access in local economies; and
  • Support and strengthen the communities in which we operate.

We continue to be humbled and honored by the opportunity to support local economies, particularly to help create greater access and opportunity everywhere we operate. And we are constantly looking to do more. Today’s announcement builds upon relief actions and support for communities that we previously made. We are working closely with all of our stakeholders to identify and prioritize the most effective ways to deploy our financial commitment. The first set of initiatives we are announcing as part of the Main Street Strong Pledge are:

Enabling Dashers to Achieve Financial Success
Flexible work opportunities with low barriers to entry are more crucial than ever, enabling people – particularly in those communities hardest hit by the pandemic’s economic battering ram – to earn an income almost immediately even as unemployment rates skyrocketed. Since the first stay-at-home orders went into effect in mid-March through September, 1.9 million new Dashers joined the platform and together with existing Dashers earned more than $3.5 billion during the first six and a half months of the pandemic, with approximately 60% – $2.1 billion – of that total being earned by Dashers who live in zip codes with above average Black and/or Latinx representation.

We are honored to take the next step today in helping Dashers secure their financial futures by announcing our multi-year partnership with the National Urban League. Together with NUL, a historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization, we will reimagine the future of the 21st century economy by creating a first-of-its-kind program designed for Dashers of color to help them attain new job skills and entrepreneurial success, and build generational wealth via financial literacy training, educational funding, job programs, and more. As Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, said, “As economic first responders, the National Urban League recognizes and appreciates the role DoorDash has played, not only in uplifting the communities hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, but in recognizing the structural inequalities that have contributed to our current crisis. We are grateful for the support of DoorDash and look forward to an ongoing partnership that empowers Dashers to achieve and succeed.

In addition, we want to ensure that we’re supporting the Dashers who’ve helped power so many important deliveries in their communities. That is why later this quarter we will be announcing details of a $12 million Dasher rewards program that will run though May 2021, and which will highlight and recognize the commitment of many dedicated Dashers across the globe.

Empowering Local Merchants
With the cold weather season upon us, we know that the months ahead will likely be tough for local businesses. In early October, we announced our $2 million cold weather grant program to help restaurants in six markets prepare for the winter months. The response has been overwhelming, so as we review current applications, we will be increasing our cold weather grant program to $10 million to expand into additional markets, including several in Canada.

We are steadfast in our commitment to helping merchants succeed. Some have had to close their doors, which is why last month we launched our Reopen for Delivery initiative to help select restaurants reopen by operating delivery-only kitchens in order to grow their business without traditional overhead costs. Others – particularly minority- and women-owned businesses that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID – need resources, tools and support to keep their businesses open and adapt their business models to the ever-evolving new normal. That is why we are announcing DoorDash’s Main Street Strong Accelerator, a program launching in 2021 with a goal to help women and minority local entrepreneurs gain access to the capital and other tools they need to sustain and grow their business.

Strengthening Local Communities
Through Project DASH, we work with nonprofits and governments to serve our communities through last-mile delivery. Thanks to partnerships with organizations across the United States and Canada, we’ve been able to respond to the enormous need in vulnerable and food-insecure communities during COVID and power more than 325,000 deliveries of an estimated 4.5 million meals in 2020 alone. We’re honored to deepen our partnership with United Way in 2021 with a two-year, 2 million delivery goal to further support those most in need.

What’s Next?
In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll have more details on the programs above and new initiatives as we consult and partner with stakeholders and community organizations. We pledge to deploy these resources to make meaningful change in the communities we serve. We are excited to experiment with creative solutions for merchants and Dashers alike, acknowledging that some of those experiments will be less successful than others and that there will be important learnings from those misses. We are eager to share those lessons and continue tackling the work before us.