The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation announced Wednesday that the Coalition To Back Black Businesses is now accepting applications for its 2021 grant program.
The program will provide $5,000 grants to more than 400 small Black business owners to help them meet their needs. Eligible Black Business owners can apply for the grants between now and September 22.
The coalition, a multi-year initiative launched by the U.S. Chamber Foundation and American Express in September 2020, supports the long-term success of small Black businesses. The program is also the first grant collaboration between the nation’s four major Black chambers: the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the National Business League, the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., and Walker’s Legacy. Since its inception, AIG Foundation, Altice USA, ADP, and the S&P Global Foundation have joined the effort.
The coalition will also provide long-term resources, including mentorships, training, and additional funding. Through a partnership with Ureeka, each grant recipient will be paired with an industry-specific mentor to help them further grow their business. Grantees will also have the opportunity to apply for $25,000 enhancement grants next year.
“The Coalition to Back Black Businesses $5,000 grant has allowed our business to purchase necessary medical equipment, office supplies, staffing, and increase our marketing and advertising reach,” said Melanie LaCour, owner of Alexandria Primary Care Clinic in Louisiana. “My mentors have given me the guidance and confidence needed to succeed and the enhancement grant will be used to hire additional staff, purchase specialty equipment, and improve access to services.
To be eligible for the grant program, businesses must have between three and 20 full-time, part-time or contracted employees and be located in economically vulnerable communities. Those interested can check their eligibility for the program by filling out a short form on the coalition’s website.
Eligible finalists will be invited to complete a full grant application. Businesses will be invited in October. Businesses that are not selected can apply again as the program will run through 2024.