The well-known credit card provider and financial services company, American Express, has been helping Black businesses recover from COVID-19’s negative impact.
Twenty-five Black-owned small businesses from American Express’ the Coalition to Back Black Businesses grant program will receive $25,000 more to move forward in business through the pandemic. An invitation to be considered for additional funds was extended to them, according to a press release.
Grant recipients included Black women-owned small businesses and businesses with six or fewer employees.
Deandre Wade, who owns Tennessee-based Fresh Sportswear, explained how her business which designs and makes custom sports team uniforms for sports teams benefited from American Express’ additional investment in her Black business.
“My business and life have done a full 180 since receiving support from the Coalition to Back Black Businesses program,” said Wade.
Fresh Sportswear is a small business in Antioch, Tennessee, that designs and manufactures custom uniforms for sports teams with a focus on youth.
“With the enhancement grant, I will be moving my business out of my living room and purchasing the tools and equipment needed to begin mass-producing our products.”
For those who may wonder why Black and Hispanic businesses may need greater financial support during the pandemic, Global Strategy Group for Color Of Change and UnidosUS shed light on a few points of concern through conducting a nationwide survey to assess COVID-19’s “economic impact on both Black and Hispanic small-business and non-profit owners.”
The survey results revealed that 41% of surveyors said they were turned down for help and 21% were still waiting to find out if assistance would be provided,” according to Color of Change’s press release in 2020.
In 2020, American Express decided to make a $10 million promise to support Black-owned small businesses along with mentoring and other supportive resources.
The new collaboration combined forces with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and four leading Black chambers. Back Black Businesses grant program provided 600 grants for needs from compensating workers to covering rent, in the inaugural year, according to the press release.
The Coalition to Back Black Businesses grant will extend help through 2024 by providing $5,000 grants to selected Black-owned small businesses every fall. Additionally, $25,000 enhancement grants may be applied for in the next spring season.
Stay tuned for the open period for Coalition to Back Black Businesses’ grant applications in the fall and learn more about the 2020 business winners by clicking here.