As part of a continued commitment to uplift New Majority-owned small businesses across the United States, Hello Alice has joined forces with the NAACP to create the Black-owned Business Center to ensure the growth and advancement of small business owners. The center will deploy over $4 million USD in grants to Black-owned small businesses and provide mentorship to all who join. In addition to expanding economic opportunity for all Black and New Majority-owned businesses, all applicants will have full access to resources available on the Hello Alice platform, which includes small business how-to-guides, mentorship, digital support communities, and additional funding opportunities. Owners can access these dedicated resources and apply for the grant series by visiting blackbiz.helloalice.com.
This partnership reinforces the collective mission to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights for all persons, and also acknowledges that by percentage, Black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States. Additionally, research proves that the pandemic’s impact has significantly disproportionately hurt Black-owned small businesses, making this commitment critical for ensuring the recovery and overall prosperity of America’s Black small business community.
“This is a powerful partnership that will help alleviate the most vexing challenges our entrepreneurs face when starting and growing a business,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP. “Specifically, the initiative will help provide access to capital and address the implicit bias in capital decisions. We are excited to bring together thousands of Black entrepreneurs in collaboration with Hello Alice.”
In addition to providing funding access through the grants program, the initiative will also engage small business owners and policymakers on priority issues critical to small business growth ahead of the 2020 presidential election through Hello Alice x NAACP’s Vote Small Biz platform, which seeks to elevate the collective opinions on what owners need to be successful in the next four years. Prompting owners to advocate, lead and learn, this platform will help the 93% of small business owners who vote to make their voices heard this election season. From supporting employees with time to vote — to speaking up about the policies that matter to their business — the platform gathers everything needed to ensure the #SmallBizVote rings loud this year.
“Investing in Black businesses and expanding and increasing access and opportunity is essential for the long term prosperity of the New Majority small business community,” said Elizabeth Gore, co-founder of Hello Alice. “The NAACP and Hello Alice are investing in the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in this country. Through the Black-Owned Business Center, we must ensure Business For All through access to capital, mentors and resources.”
In August, Hello Alice released their “Impact of COVID-19 on Black Business Owners” data report, uncovering significant inequities faced by Black-owned small businesses during the pandemic. To better understand Black business owners’ current needs and to identify opportunities to support, Hello Alice collected and compiled demographic information, funding requirements, and operational challenges from 28,985+ Black owners, who applied for COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grants. The resulting data report highlights:
- 69% of Black applicants for COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grants identified as women
- 92% of Black entrepreneurs called on the government to step up and give them access to more emergency grants, ranging from $10k-$25k.
- Grants of that size would be put toward many things, including lost sales, as 68% of Black entrepreneurs said that was their biggest hurdle during this time of social distancing.
- Owners did not anticipate COVID-19 affecting their businesses for more than four months. Additionally, the Payment Protection Program (PPP) was designed to help owners for only two and a half months when it was launched.
Visit Hello Alice’s Black Owned Business Resource Center to apply for the grant series and to access a growing resource of networks and opportunities.