Just as minority communities have been hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, so, too, have been minority business owners.
Some local organizations have partnered together to do something about it.
"We know that minority business owners are especially at risk due to the economic destruction caused by COVID-19 because they are less likely to have a financial cushion, as well as having poor access to capital," says Hale Walker, Vice Chair of the Community Foundation of St. Clair County Board.
"We’re proud to be part of the effort to support our region’s minority- and women-owned entrepreneurial community."
The Community Foundation of St. Clair County has given $25,000 to the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County to fund grants for minority- and women-owned businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The application window for grants opened Wednesday, May 6. The deadline is Wednesday, May 20.
Grants are available for $1,000 and up.
"This grant program is a resource to help minimize the economic hardships our region’s minority and women-owned businesses are facing and to better help them pull through the COVID-19 crisis," says CEO of the Economic Development Alliance, Dan Casey.
"We are grateful to the Community Foundation for this financial support to help our diverse local businesses as we deal with both a health and economic crisis."
The Community Foundation recently hired two consultants for their equity and inclusion committee. Kanchan Wankhede and Shannon Schwabe are available to work with minority business owners to find and apply for available resources. Over 20 businesses have connected with the consultants so far.
"I truly appreciate the support provided by Kanchan, Shannon, and the Community Foundation," says Mike Miller, Owner of MJM Yard Maintenance and Landscape.
"My business has qualified for resources I otherwise would not have been able to access without their guidance and commitment to helping me."
Visit the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County online to apply for the grants. The deadline is Wednesday, May 20.
Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.