The spread of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, has crippled small business owners within the U.S. Since the start of the viral pandemic, many cities and countries have issued mandatory stay-at-home orders for all residents, closing any businesses deemed “non-essential.” Black businesses are responsible for 1 million jobs in the economy with more 95% of black-owned businesses operating as sole proprietors with some of them being the most impacted group of the viral outbreak.
Now, the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is announcing a new relief initiative with Dell to support the small business community amid this public health crisis.
The advocacy group announced this week that it would be working with Dell, a multinational technology company, to sponsor its new Growth Grant program. The tech company has provided a business development grant to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19 across the country.
“Dell is committed to empowering the self-employed and micro-businesses because we understand their potential to impact the world,” said Mobolaji Sokunbi, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Dell Small Business in a press statement. “We are thrilled to partner with NASE on the April Growth Grant initiative to further fuel the amazing aspirations of NASE members who are vital to their communities and the country’s fiscal growth.”
Under the new program, small businesses will be awarded a grant of $4,000 to be used as startup capital or expansion. Grants can also be used for Dell office equipment, marketing, advertising, hiring employees, expanding facilities, and other specific business needs. Last year, NASE awarded $48,000 in grants to small businesses across the country and expects to award even more in 2020. The organization has awarded nearly $1 million since the program’s inception.
“As the nation’s leading advocate for the self-employed and micro-business community, we are honored to partner with Dell, which has helped millions of small business owners for years,” said John Hearrell, vice president of Membership and Affiliate Programs. “The sponsorship they are providing for these grants will allow us to support even more small businesses by helping them achieve their dreams and continue to usher forward America’s great entrepreneurial spirit.”
Applications are considered on a rolling basis throughout the year and winning small businesses will be awarded $4,000 grants monthly throughout 2020.