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Coalition to Back Black Businesses Grant

Grants to USA Black-Owned Businesses to Alleviate
the Adverse Financial Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Coalition to Back Black Businesses - U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, American Express, National Black Chamber of Commerce, National Business League, U.S. Black Chambers, Walker’s Legacy, Altice USA, AIG Foundation, Cummins, Stanley Black and Decker, and Dow

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

09/30/21 11:59 PM EDT


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Grants of up to $5,000 and in-kind support to USA Black-owned businesses in economically vulnerable communities to alleviate the adverse financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Applicants are required to submit an expression of interest prior to submitting a full application. In addition to a cash grant, applicants will also be invited to participate in a coaching platform. Applicants may be eligible for Enhancement grants of up to $25,000. Businesses must be located in an economically vulnerable community, defined as any zip code not in the top 20% of zip codes in the United States.

The grants are unrestricted but must be applied toward business expenses.

After funding is disbursed, grantees will be invited to participate in Ureeka’s coaching platform to help further grow their business. Grantees must register for it to process their grant payment. While participation in the platform is voluntary after the grant payment, it is required to be considered for an enhancement grant in the spring. In addition, the Coalition to Back Black Businesses will continue to offer educational resources for small business owners on its online platforms.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 192359

Estimated Size of Grant:

The $5,000 grants are only the start of the Coalition to Back Black Businesses’ efforts to support Black-owned small businesses. The grant program will involve three additional steps to invest in the long-term success and resilience of the Black small business community.
- Mentorship. Each grantee will receive exclusive access to a mentorship program, conducted in partnership with MicroMentor, to help grow their business with advice and guidance from industry- or subject-specific mentors.
- Enhancement Grants. Each summer following the distribution of the $5,000 grants, competitive $25,000 enhancement grants will be offered to those most promising grantees. Four percent of the grantees in each annual cohort will receive these funds to help take their business to the next level.
- Online Resources. This website will serve as a central hub featuring resources for all Black-owned small businesses. By working with an extensive network of partners, a strong library of programs and educational materials will be collected to help the Black small business community in their recovery and growth.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To apply, you must be an owner of a Black-owned small business (51% or more ownership of the business). You must have between 3-20 employees (including yourself, all full or part-time employees, and independent (1099) contractors). The business must also not be part of a franchise brand with more than twenty-five (25) corporate-owned stores, or more than two hundred and fifty (250) stores total.

The business must be located in an economically vulnerable community. This is defined as any zip code not in the top 20% of zip codes in the United States, as ranked by the Distressed Communities Index.

There are a few industries and business types that are not eligible to receive grants:
- Any government agency, public administration, political organization, or non-profit of any type;
- Businesses engaged in any illegal activity;
- Gas stations, or businesses located on the same premises as a gas station;
- Shopping property management companies;
- Direct sellers;
- Any business that is primarily in the business of manufacturing, promoting or selling diet aids, cannabis, gambling, tobacco (including tobacco-related equipment, such as e-cigarettes), firearms or other weapons;
- Private clubs and businesses which limit the number of memberships for reasons other than capacity;
- Businesses principally engaged in teaching, instructing, counseling or indoctrinating religion or religious beliefs, whether in a religious or secular setting;
- Businesses which derive directly or indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a sexual nature;
- Businesses owned by employees, officers and directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, American Express, other Coalition funders, National Partners (National Black Chamber of Commerce, National Business League, Walker’s Legacy, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.), and any affiliated entities, and their respective immediate families (parents, spouse, children, siblings) or individuals residing in their household (whether or not related)
- Entities listed on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Sanctions List.

Pre-Application Information:

- Express Interest: September 14-22 2021: Express interest in receiving a grant when the program reopens
- Application Period: September 23-30 2021: If eligible for grant, randomly-selected finalists and those on a waitlist will be asked to complete a full grant application.
- Application Review Period: September-October 2021: Grant applications under review
- Grants Awarded: October 2021: At least 400 grantees will be notified with instructions on how to join Ureeka's coaching platform and receive their $5,000 grant payment

Selection Process:
After September 22, 2021, each business that expressed their interest will be computer-assigned a random number and put in ascending order. Over four hundred business owners will be selected as finalists and notified within two days of the period ending. Additional applicants may be chosen for the waitlist and elevated to finalist if any of the initial finalists are deemed ineligible; they would be notified of their finalist status within three additional weeks.

Finalists and those on the waitlist will then have one week to complete a longer application that will be checked for grant eligibility and completion. Special consideration will be given to women-owned businesses, which will make up at least 25% of the awarded grants.

Each finalist that submits a complete application that meets all eligibility requirements will be notified of the grant award decisions within two weeks of completing the finalist application. Any that do not will be replaced immediately by a completed application from a waitlisted applicant.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Eligible business owners can express their interest on the URL for Full Text, below from September 14, 2021 through September 22, 2021.

Direct questions to:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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