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Adding to his history of entrepreneurial and philanthropic work, Earvin “Magic” Johnson partnered with Amazon earlier this month in promotion of the online retail giant’s new small business initiative, “Amazon Small Business.”
Johnson, the NBA Hall of Famer and founder and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, spoke to Business Insider in a phone interview this week about the Amazon partnership and his collected efforts to support small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since May, Johnson has pledged to donate a total of $325 million in loans to minority-owned small businesses through his life insurance company, EquiTrust. His partnership with Amazon involved the launch of a holiday “gift guide” earlier this month, which featured a curated list of products from small businesses.
Later in the interview, Johnson reflected at length on the 2019-2020 NBA season’s continuation in a bubble. Noting that the bubble resulted in zero positive coronavirus cases, Johnson commended its “sensational” execution and gameplay. He also discussed the plight of those in the bubble, echoing a recent Los Angeles Times report that shed light on the “strains” of the endeavor for players, and he gave his perspective on the legacy of LeBron James in the wake of James’ fourth championship win.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
How did this partnership with Amazon come together?
Well, when you think about Amazon and you think about Magic Johnson Enterprises, we want the same type of success for the country, for small business owners. And we’re aligned with each other when it comes to helping those small businesses. Both of us have been doing it for a long time without each other. It was a no-brainer for us to come together and try to help these small, incredible businesses by not only driving customers to their product, but also driving new customers. Especially in a time like now, right before the holidays.
Amazon is such a big and incredible company. We’re a big little company, and, both of our brands, we always speak to the customer, and we speak to the community. So for us to come together, it was easy. We want to make a difference in these small business owners’ companies, and we want to make a difference in people’s lives that we already serve, whether it’s just Amazon by themselves and Magic Johnson Enterprises. But by coming together, we can send a loud, clear message that we really support small businesses.
You’re a longtime entrepreneur. How has your history on that front informed you of the plight of small businesses over time?
You have to remember, I was one of those guys, you know. I’ve been a small business owner for a long time. I’ve grown to be a big business owner, but I was once one of them. I understand what all of them are striving for, which is growth. Sustainability. How can they attract new customers. See, I’ve been through that, so I know it. Amazon understands that as well. Because the better …read more
Source:: Business Insider