Black Businesses Can Now Pursue $10,000 Grant To Help Them Grow From Verizon

Black Businesses Can Now Pursue $10,000 Grant To Help Them Grow From Verizon

Growth-focused small businesses—including Black-owned firms—can pursue a $10,000 grant from wireless giant Verizon.

The Verizon Small Business Digital Ready is partnering with Next Street and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) on the effort. Verizon reports its online small business platform is geared to provide under-resourced small businesses with the needed tools to help them grow and flourish in today’s digital economy.

The Verizon-funded grant program means that 50 small businesses will receive a $10,000 grant totaling $500,000. However, applicants should act soon as the deadline for the current grant period is now through Dec. 20, 2023. Apply here by clicking on register. The winners will be announced early next year.

Further, small businesses who register on the platform could gain other backing, including personalized access to over 40 online courses, mentorship opportunities with industry experts, and one-on-one coaching, all for free.

“Since Verizon Small Business Digital Ready launched in 2021, we have been able to support over 200,000 small business owners nationwide,” said Verizon’s Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer Rose Stuckey Kirk. “We are proud to tap into our tools and resources—as well as our network of experts—to help small businesses succeed and, ultimately, help benefit their local communities.”

LISC, one of the nation’s largest community development nonprofits, will distribute the grants to the winners. It will also promote the grant program to the nonprofit’s community partners and small business network.

The initiative is tied to Verizon’s goal to support 1 million small businesses by 2030 and is aligned with its responsible business plan, Citizen Verizon. Some 99% of respondents agree that courses from Verizon’s online small business platform helped their business, based on a survey of current users earlier this year.

For Black entrepreneur Diedre Mathis, the Verizon funding could be helpful. She opened Wanderstay Houston Hostel in Texas in 2018. She recently expanded by opening a second location, Wanderstay Boutique Hotel. Verizon’s Small Business Digital Ready Program is among her resources to help her gain skills as a business owner.

Mathis’s vision is to hire more staff and continue to support her current staff with training opportunities. She wants to boost her investment in marketing on social media to spread the word about both of her Wanderstay properties. That makes the $10,000 Verizon grant truly timely for Mathis.

Insufficient or expired capital is among the largest operating obstacles for budding and mature small business owners. A recent report showed that 76% of Black entrepreneurs disclosed that access to capital was a challenge. Based on those who have never earned money for their business, about 80% stated they either could not find the right support or could not pay for services connecting them to the capital.

The uplifting news is the Verizon platform offers several courses that help small business owners acquire funding. Some include choosing the best SBA loan, navigating online loans, and finding the right financing for your business.