(WPDE) — A new resource is helping to connect Black-owned businesses to the resources and funding opportunities that they need.
Studies show Black-owned businesses were hit hard due to the pandemic, and Hello Alice, in conjunction with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), announced a new opportunity geared at helping; it's called the Black-Owned Business Resource Center.
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Darnell Bowen is the controller for Hello Alice and said the resource center will be offering assistance in various forms for businesses who need it.
"It's an online resource platform for helping businesses of all types connect to the resources that they need to thrive and grow. We offer resources, we offer guides, we offer community, we offer help, mentorship," Bowen said.
In a press release released by the NAACP, it said:
The center will deploy over $4 million USD in grants to Black-owned small businesses and provide mentorship to all who join. In addition to expanding economic opportunity for all Black and New Majority-owned businesses, all applicants will have full access to resources available on the Hello Alice platform, which includes small business how-to-guides, mentorship, digital support communities, and additional funding opportunities.
Bowen said the grant opportunities will be given to eligible businesses on a monthly basis.
"We're offering $10,000 grants each month through the end of the year," Bowen said.
Bowen said the studies they conducted during the pandemic showed them that Black businesses were being affected negatively across the board due to the pandemic.
"Our data was showing that for black-owned businesses, 73% of them saw their sales reduced during COVID due to social distancing restrictions and that 67% of them needed capital. So those numbers really screamed out to us that we really wanted to be able to help do this," Bowen said.
Bowen said that's one of the reasons they did all they could to reach out to other organizations that wanted to help and find resources and funding opportunities to help Black-owned businesses.
"Pivoting ourselves we were able to pull up this resource, go out and secure some partnerships like the NAACP and basically find the money. There's a lot of organizations that want to help small businesses so we were able to be influential in facilitating and directing those grants to the businesses that most needed it," Bowen said.
You can find a link to the Black-Owned Business Resource Center here.
You can also find a link to the application for the grant through this partnership here.