Kabbage, an online lender to small businesses, has taken a strong stand on gun control.
The Atlanta company said Monday that it will not fund “any businesses that we identify as a seller of firearms or ammunition to individuals under 21 or that sell or manufacture any form of assault-style weapon.” It said it will enforce the policy on existing as well as potential customers “as soon as possible.”
“As parents and leaders of Kabbage we simply cannot imagine the grief of families who too often have been stricken by gun violence like the tragedy in Parkland, Florida,” read a statement signed by CEO Rob Frohwein, President Kathryn Petralia and COO Bob Sharpe. “The technology community must work to prevent these horrifying and heartbreaking events from robbing our children of their futures.”
In addition to the ban on gun sellers, Kabbage executives also said they would support the Parkland survivors’ March 14 walkout; the company’s offices will close for a time, and employees will be invited to walk out, to demonstrate solidarity with the students and staff staging the walkout to protest gun violence and honor the victims of the deadly shooting at the school in mid-February.
The Kabbage leaders further said they will donate $100,000 to a charity chosen by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and match up to $250,000 in donations made by employees, customers, friends and family. Frohwein, Petralia and Sharpe said they would start by personally donating $10,000 each.
“We call on the broader FinTech, technology and business community to join us in protecting our children from unnecessary harm and championing their voice for change,” the three said in the statement.