Hennessy is stepping up to help minority small businesses struggling with the effects of COVID-19 by providing immediate financial support through a new program called Unfinished Business.
The Cognac house has committed an initial $3 million to provide direct financial relief to small business owners from “communities bearing a disproportionate share of COVID-19 related health and economic consequences.”
The program—in partnership with One Hundred Black Men, Hispanic Federation, and Asian American Business Development Center—will support small businesses owned by Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Black, Asian, and Latinx business owners have always had to overcome great obstacles to success. And in the era of COVID-19, these individuals are fighting harder than ever against a range of inequalities that stand in their way,” the website states.
The brand is partnering with these national organizations “already working to support businesses” to “ensure support is distributed directly at the community-level among those who need it the most,” according to its website.
“Hennessy has always valued the spirit of resilience and this is what these small businesses represent,” said Laurent Boillot, chief executive officer of Hennessy, in a statement. “We do not want these pillars of community to succumb to the current global pandemic and are offering our support to help them continue pushing forward.”
The program also provides longer-term access to resources to help minority small businesses succeed. One Hundred Black Men, for example, is offering back-office assistance that may include:
- Guidance and training in the areas of cash flow and financial management
- Business Communications
- Guidance with access to capital and surety bonding
- Insurance Matters
The financial aid can be used toward payroll, operating expenses, rent or mortgage payments, and utilities.
Applications for Unfinished Business are now open; the initial round closes on July 1st. Black, Asian, and/or Latinx-owned businesses that have been in operation for at least two years as of March, have 50 or fewer employees, and annual sales of $3 million or less are eligible.