The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and American Express announced that the Coalition to Back Black Businesses (CBBB) is now accepting applications for its 2022-23 grant program, which will provide $5,000 grants to 272 Black-owned small businesses to help them meet critical needs and invest in long-term growth. Eligible business owners can apply for the grant online here, through September 6, 2022.
The CBBB is a multi-year initiative created by the U.S. Chamber Foundation and American Express to support the long-term success and resilience of Black-owned small businesses. The program is a first-of-its-kind collaboration with four leading national Black business organizations, including the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the National Business League, the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., and Walker’s Legacy. To date, the CBBB has awarded more than $6.4 million in grants to 1,091 Black-owned small businesses in 40 states to help fund essential expenses such as payroll, utilities, and expanding or replacing inventory, among other needs.
“The funding and mentorship opportunities this program offers are crucial to helping small employers adapt to the ever-evolving landscape of running a business,” says Carolyn Cawley, president of the U.S. Chamber Foundation. “We’re proud to work with our coalition of partners to build on the impact we’ve made over the last two years and support the continued growth of America’s Black-owned small businesses.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and local communities,” says Jennifer Skyler, chief corporate affairs officer at American Express. “American Express and our partners are proud to see that the grants are making an impact on the small business community, with 50 percent of our grant recipients seeing a real increase across sales revenue in the second half of 2021.”
“The grant was essential in helping us keep our doors open. The funds were used to pay for one month of rent and utilities for the barbershop, as well as invest in advertising,” says Perry Petit-Beau, owner of Petit Beau-ty & Grooming Company in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “This helped establish us as reputable in the community, and we are now ranked in the top five barbershops in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and have a 5-star rating online.”
In addition to $5,000 grants, the CBBB provides additional resources for sustained support, such as one-on-one mentorship and training for small businesses based on individual business needs, offered in partnership with Ureeka. This year, the program will also receive additional support from Cummins and Shopify. Selected grantees will also have the opportunity to apply for $25,000 enhancement grants in Spring 2023 to further grow their business.
To be eligible for the grant program, businesses must meet certain criteria, including having between three and twenty full-time, part-time, or otherwise contracted employees, and must be located in an economically vulnerable community. Business owners can check their eligibility and express their interest in the program by filling out a short form on the CBBB’s website. In mid-September, eligible finalists will be invited to complete a full grant application, and 272 businesses will receive a $5,000 grant. Business owners will be notified of their status in mid-October. Businesses that are not selected to receive a grant are encouraged to apply again as the program will continue to run through 2024.