Coalition to Back Black Businesses (CBBB), co-founded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, American Express, and four leading national Black business organizations – announced 491 Black-owned small businesses across 39 states were each awarded a $5,000 grant as part of a multi-year grantmaking and mentorship initiative. The recipients will be eligible to apply for enhancement grants of $25,000, which will be provided to a select number of 2021 grantee recipients in July 2022.
The CBBB was formed in September 2020 to address the needs of businesses impacted by the pandemic and support their long-term growth. Since its launch, CBBB has awarded grants to more than 1,000 Black-owned small businesses.
“From nationwide supply chain disruptions to worker shortages, Black small business owners are facing new and daunting challenges brought on by the pandemic,” said Carolyn Cawley, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “The strength of our economy depends on the success of these business owners. We look forward to working with our Coalition partners to empower more Black-owned businesses so they can recover from these challenges and continue to create jobs and opportunities in their communities.”
“We are proud to be a partner of CBBB and the truly impactful work it is doing to provide funding and educational resources to small business owners,” said Madge Thomas, head of corporate social responsibility at American Express. “As part of our “Backing Small” efforts to invest in the small business economy, this program enables American Express and our partners to meet the urgent needs of Black business owners and provide meaningful support where they need it most to ensure long-term success.”
“Any business needs money, but Black and brown businesses get such a small percentage of new business funding, limiting the opportunity of these entrepreneurs; people with amazing ideas, amazing drive and amazing vision,” said Mandi Masden, owner of Apostrophe Puzzles and recipient of CBBB’s 2021 grant. “That’s the number one thing we need. We need financial support. We need investors. We need grants.”
Funding from ADP, the AIG Foundation, Altice USA, parent company of Optimum and Suddenlink, Dow, the S&P Global Foundation, Shopify, and Stanley Black & Decker brought the Coalition’s total impact to $14 million, which will be provided as immediate financial aid and longer-term resources, such as mentorships and trainings, to support Black small business owners across the country through 2024.