Black Entrepreneurs In Four Major Cities Can Seek $10,000 Grants From Verizon

The funding is being offered in Houston, Miami, Phoenix, and Los Angeles.

Black entrepreneurs are among small business owners who can go after a new round of $10,000 grants in four of the nation’s largest cities. The funding will come from wireless giant Verizon and is being offered in Houston, Miami, Phoenix, and Los Angeles.

In partnership with Next Street and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready online platform is geared to give under-resourced small businesses the free tools needed to help them flourish and succeed in today’s digital economy, according to a news release.

Small business owners who register on the platform also get free, personalized access to over 40 online courses, coaching opportunities with industry experts, and access to peer networking events, among other services.

All small businesses can apply, and recipients will be awarded on a rolling basis this year. Small businesses in the four cities can apply here for funding until April 8.

Insufficient or expired capital is one of the main operating obstacles for both budding and mature small business owners. A recent report showed that 76% of Black entrepreneurs disclosed that access to capital was a challenge. 

Further, there are a reported 3.12 million Black-owned businesses in the United States, generating $206 billion in annual revenue. Yet, regardless of this growth and their overall economic contribution, over 25% of Black business owners purportedly still struggle to access needed capital to back their enterprises.

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.

Verizon recently awarded surprise grants to several BIPOC small business owners. One recipient was Denette Braud, owner of Braud’s Funnel Cake Cafe in Las Vegas. The first Black- and women-owned gourmet funnel cake café in the city, she landed a $10,000 grant to support her thriving business. She talked about how the grant will help her business here. 

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