Grant opportunity available to Memphis' Black-owned businesses. See who won in latest round

What’s happening: The Coalition to Back Black Businesses (CBBB) has announced that five Black-owned Memphis businesses are among the latest recipients to each receive $5,000 grants as part of the multi-year initiative. The next application window opens in summer 2023, and interested business owners are encouraged to visit the CBBB online to learn more about the application process ahead of the next round.

What it is: The CBBB is a grant-making initiative first launched in September 2020 to help ease the economic adversities wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic and the disproportionate effects it has had on Black-owned businesses. The initiative was founded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and funded with a $10 million commitment from American Express.

How it works: Interested business owners are encouraged to visit the Coalition to Back Black Businesses online to check eligibility requirements, a set of criteria that includes being a Black-owned enterprise in a qualifying industry; employing between three and 20 people, including the owner; being located in an economically vulnerable community; and have been financially harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Click HERE to learn more about the application process and HERE for a recent impact report on the initiative thus far.

Good news: This latest round of grantmaking awarded $1.6 million in grants to 324 Black-owned small businesses in 40 states, Washington D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Those selected each receive a $5,000 grant, long-term business mentorship opportunities, and online resources.

In Memphis, winners include Beatrice Banks of GI Apprentice Inc., which provides individuals the opportunity to gain a national certification through the US Department of Labor office of apprenticeship, equipping them with the tools, training, and resources they need; Latoya Armstrong of Royalty Grooming, an upscale barber shop in Balmoral; Lewis Grimes of Electrical Solutions Enterprise, a provider of commercial and residential electrical services; Mashone Wallace-Day of Back Door Groceries, a convenience store in a seniors living building that provides much-needed services to the elderly community; and Memphis travel specialist Monica Dunbar of Monica’s Travel Deals.

Why it’s important: “Strong small businesses make strong communities, and we’re proud of the CBBB’s impact in helping them create jobs and opportunities,” says Carolyn Cawley, president of the U.S. Chamber Foundation. “By combining grants, mentorship and long-term resources, CBBB is helping small business owners create distinction from competitors, better meet customer demand, and stay current on business necessities such as rent, utilities, and payroll. We’re honored to be able to support their growth and resilience, now and in the long-term.”
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.