Fund launched to help Black, brown owned small businesses in Cincinnati impacted by COVID-19

Fund launched to help Black, brown owned small businesses in Cincinnati impacted by COVID-19
The “Resiliency Fund” is made up of three different tiers. (Source: WAFB)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Urban League of Greater Southwest Ohio, the City of Cincinnati, and the Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Initiative (GCMI) joined together Thursday to announce a new COVID-19 relief fund for Black and brown minority-owned small businesses,

The “Resiliency Fund” will mainly focus on businesses with revenue of $100,000 or less, Executive Director of Urban League of Greater Southwest Ohio Eddie Koen said.

“We want to reach small black and brown minority-owned business in Cincinnati that are mom and pop establishments with our hyper-focus on businesses with revenue of $100,000 or less,” Koen said. “GCMI is a great partner for us in that.”

The idea for the fund was raised last summer when Koen says he met with Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. The two discussed ways to help small African American and Latinx-owned businesses survive the pandemic, Koen said.

The “Resiliency Fund” is made up of three different tiers.

Tier one, which launched Thursday, is meant to help Black and brown minority businesses that need immediate help.

Here is how the three tiers break down:

  • Tier One includes grants up to $1,000 for the Operational Emergency Relief Grant and grants up to $2,500 for the Community Investment Business Grant, for a total of 120 throughout the program. It is “first come, first served.”
  • Tier Two will include up to $10,000 for the Community Opportunity Grants, for a total of 105 grants throughout the program. Tier two awardees are randomly selected among qualified applicants.
  • Tier Three includes grants up to $15,000 for a Catalyst Grant, for a total of 15 grants throughout. Tier three awardees are also randomly selected among qualified applicants.

“A recent study by the U.S. Federal Reserve revealed that 41% of black-owned businesses and 32% of Hispanic businesses shut down between February and April of 2020 -- as compared to 17% of white-owned businesses,” according to the news release from the Urban League of Greater Southwest Ohio.

Businesses can apply for the relief grant by clicking here.

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