Critical moments in history have threatened the existence of Black owned businesses. The destruction of Black Wall Streets around the country was devastating, in the early 20th century. The construction of the interstates in the 1950s and 1960s nearly wiped out all the Black businesses that still remained: the construction of I-40 erased 80 percent of Black owned businesses in Nashville, alone. COVID-19 a lethal threat which, when fully detonated, could very well wipe out a generation of Black entrepreneurs. We Buy Black, in cooperation with SheaMoisture, is announcing the Black Business Relief Fund: $100,000 for Black owned businesses. If you’re an entrepreneur, pay careful attention.
Small businesses, in particular, support communities in a range of ways– providing employment, much needed services and goods. We Buy Black exists to support Black entrepreneurs and SheaMoisture, once a Black owned company, has always held a radical commitment to community. In this moment of uncertainty, that commitment is more clear than ever. As Black entrepreneurs are working overtime to support communities in crisis, they themselves are in need of relief. The Black Business Relief Fund will award a total of 20 Community-Empowered Small Business Grants to support them, thanks to We Buy Black and SheaMoisture. The Black Business Relief Fund will award grants to businesses that are donating goods or providing free services to those in need, during the COVID-19 outbreak
**The following is not the complete set of rules. Please review the rules fully before applying**
The application opens on Wednesday, April 8 and the deadline to apply for a grant is Wednesday, April 15. You can find the application in the link on We Buy Black’s Instagram bio. Every business owner is important, all are encouraged to participate. A committee will choose 20 recipients who will be awarded $5,000 per company to advance their business (awarded to the business as a check). Every Monday and Tuesday, We Buy Black will post editorials spotlighting the top 10 businesses of the week. On Wednesday, those businesses will be posted on We Buy Black’s IG page. The companies that receive the most likes on IG by 11:59 PM EST Thursday will be announced as recipients on Friday.
The Big Picture
Congress recently announced over $2 trillion in coronavirus relief. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has been given $350 billion to loan companies up to $10 million, each. But who is specifically providing relief to Black owned businesses? Where is that “bailout” fund? The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is the single entity chartered to focus on the growth and development of non-white businesses (all minority groups, not just Black). The agency has been gutted for years and of the $2.2 trillion in coronavirus relief, Congress allocated a mere $10 million to it. Black businesses are in peril, clinging to survival and the relief simply isn’t coming.
We Buy Black and SheaMoisture are teaming up to bring much needed relief, in the form of the Black Business Relief Fund. The Fund, however, is just the beginning: policymakers must dig deeper and ultimately, it’s up to all of us to take action and support Black entrepreneurs.