As many small businesses face challenges during the coronavirus pandemic, Lowe’s is giving them a chance to get their products on its store shelves and website, according to a report by CNBC.

Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that the home improvement retailer is teaming up with Daymond John, a star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” to mentor entrepreneurs across diverse backgrounds, listen to their pitches and narrow the pool to standouts. The initiative will ultimately culminate in a one-day pitch competition judged by Lowe’s executives and hosted by John.

Ellison said Tuesday that the new effort was inspired by the outpouring of interest and great need. He said Lowe’s has gotten more than 800,000 applications for the grants since it began the program in May. “The demand from this program led us to understand that there’s a lot more that we should be doing,”

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A man walks past a Lowe’s store in Los Angeles, California.

Mario Tama | Getty Images

As many small businesses face challenges during the coronavirus pandemic, Lowe’s is giving them a shot to get their products on its store shelves and website.

Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that the home improvement retailer is teaming up with Daymond John, a star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” to mentor entrepreneurs, listen to their pitches and narrow the pool to standouts. The initiative will ultimately culminate in a one-day pitch competition judged by Lowe’s executives and hosted by John.

The home improvement retailer has committed $55 million towards small business grants to support minority-owned and women-owned businesses and rural small businesses — many of which have struggled as Covid-19 spread, shuttered stores and created economic uncertainty.

Ellison said Tuesday that the new effort was inspired by the

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