Update on Small Business Live Restart Grant Fund
Accion Opportunity Fund is thrilled to announce the selection of small business owner grantees who will receive $5,000 grants as part of the Small Business Live Restart Grant Fund. We are grateful to all who supported this effort to shine a spotlight on the challenges facing small business owners and the vital role they play in creating economic opportunity and thriving communities across the country.
Selected grantees hail from 23 states and Puerto Rico, with 67 percent of grantees being entrepreneurs of color and 68 percent being women. They represent diverse industries including counseling, painting, landscaping, trucking and transportation, auto repair, restaurants, bakeries, food trucks, salons, construction, recreation, physical therapy, daycare and child education, retail, and more. Grantees report they plan to use the funds for a variety of business-related expenses, including operations, payroll, rent and cash flow. All grants have been disbursed, and financial information for all applicants has been deleted.
If you are a small business owner who applied and have not received an email indicating the status of your application, please check your spam filter or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small Business Live, the virtual philanthropic music experience that took place on June 20, featured performances by some of music’s biggest stars live across the country: Ms. Lauryn Hill, 2 Chainz, Brittany Howard, Brandi Carlile, Leon Bridges, T-Pain, and more. On-site at local small businesses close to their hearts, as well as other unique locations, artists shared with viewers their personal stories behind what each business means to them. The event was live-streamed on over 15 digital channels and viewed by millions of people. Clips of the musicians’ performances and the small businesses featured in the event can be viewed here.
Though the challenges facing small business owners have recently gained heightened visibility, entrepreneurs of color and female entrepreneurs have long faced greater hurdles to accessing capital as they start or grow a business. Entrepreneurs of color are disproportionately denied credit when they apply for it even after controlling for other variables such as business credit scores, personal wealth, and revenues. Wealth disparities in underserved communities impact how much capital entrepreneurs are able to secure, and in turn their future opportunities to build financial stability. These inequalities have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a disproportionately negative effect on low-wealth communities and communities of color. Today’s realities make our work of over 30 years even more important and makes the visibility and financial support Accion Opportunity Fund generated during Small Business Live more valuable in our fight for racial and economic justice.
We are happy to report that Small Business Live generated nearly $1 million to support small business, nearly $500,000 to support small business grants as well as a $500,000 grant from TikTok that will support Accion Opportunity Fund’s efforts to reach more entrepreneurs of color with access to capital and business support more broadly.
We are especially grateful to the Tripadvisor Foundation, TikTok, Superfly, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Karsh Family Foundation, Citi, the S&P Global foundation, and all the individuals who supported us in raising awareness about the critical role of small business in our communities.