CBBB, Small Business

14 Black Businesses Receive $25K To Help Scale Their Brands For Growth And Long-Term Success

Fourteen Black-owned small businesses have obtained $25,000 each in additional grants from the Coalition to Back Black Businesses (CBBB) to spur growth and longevity.

The extra funding exceeds the $5,000 apiece awardees gained from CBBB’s 2022–23 grant program at the beginning of 2023. A whopping 79% of the new funds went to Black women-owned businesses.

 The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation set up the CBBB in September 2020 with a $10 million commitment from co-founding partner American Express to help Black small businesses emerge from the pandemic stronger. More funding support comes from the likes of Cummins, Optimum, and Shopify.

So far, the program has disbursed $8.5 million to 1,414 small businesses nationwide.

According to the chamber, the program gets much interest from women-owned businesses. The chamber reports 65% of its total grant recipients are women. The effort aligns with recent trends in Black business ownership, with Black women among the fastest-growing entrepreneurs.

“The pandemic played a role in this, prompting many to start their own businesses. Increase in the availability of programs such as CBBB also play a role, providing Black businesses with access to capital and other tools—such as coaching and mentorship—that enable their long-term growth,” the chamber shared with BLACK ENTERPRISE by email.

The CBBB reported enhancement grants are given to the most promising grantees participating in the program’s yearlong mentorship and business development activities. The 14 small business owners selected for the enhancement were picked from 324 grantees in the 2022–2023 cohort. The grantees come from a broad sector of U.S. industries, from creative and food services to beauty merchandising.

Kymme Williams-Davis, the owner of Bushwick-Grind, commented, “Being awarded this enhancement grant will have a major, tangible, and long-standing impact on the future of Bushwick Grind Cafe. For me, one of the real gems in the CBBB program is the education, networking, and toolset. As a small, local mom-pop shop, there are very few opportunities to have access to diverse industry leaders.”

She added, “The enhancement grant has also allowed me to implement growth strategies within key business verticals (café services, catering, CPG retail, and events.) I’ve been able to invest in a marketing plan, which will have a high ROI, and very importantly, I can now replace broken and outdated equipment in our service bar, enhancing the customer experience and further elevating the brand.”

Kenzel Fallen, co-founder of Three Keys Coffee, said, “The CBBB Program has enabled us to invest in the necessary equipment and staff to offer a best-in-class experience to our customers and further position us as a leader in the coffee industry. We have been named the Best Coffee Roaster in TX by Food & Wine and won numerous awards for our quality and commitment to excellence. Now, thanks to this enhancement grant, we are empowered to increase our scale and share our coffee with an even wider audience. We’re beyond excited!” See more comments on the program here.

Further, the 2023–24 grant program application will be available on Aug. 21, 2023. Interested small business owners can go here to learn about eligibility.