Executive Director, Programs
February 14, 2023
We are thrilled today to share that 324 Black entrepreneurs across the country are recipients of $5,000 cash grants and free coaching services. These grants are made through the U.S. Chamber Foundation's Coalition to Back Black Businesses (CBBB), founded in 2020 in partnership with American Express and four national Black business organizations: the National Black Chamber of Commerce; the National Business League; the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.; and Walker’s Legacy.
The CBBB is a multi-year initiative to support Black small business owners and the communities they serve as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit the Black community particularly hard. We're honored to play a part as Black business owners chart a path forward and plan for their growth and long-term success.
How CBBB Grantmaking Helps
This is the 3rd round of CBBB grant distribution since our coalition began in 2020. Seventy percent of the 2022-23 grantees have fewer than five employees and 72% have been in business for less than five years, highlighting how CBBB is supporting businesses during their most critical time – the start-up and early-growth phases. Seventy percent of the grantees are women.
When asked how the $5,000 grant helped their businesses, this round of recipients shared that:
- 56% used the funds to invest in new marketing and advertising – at a time when 63% report an increase in competition
- 45% expanded or replaced inventory
- 40% paid rent, and another 40% paid utilities and other bills
- 37% directed it to payroll
- 16% repaid debts or loans, and
- 9% bought personal protective equipment
As in previous years, this group of 324 Black-owned small businesses are eligible to apply for $25,000 enhancement grants, applications for which will open in Summer 2023. Enhancement grants have been used by past recipients to improve online presence, purchase new equipment, expand to a new location, and more.
Trends in CBBB Grantmaking
To date, the CBBB has awarded more than $8.1 million in grants to 1,414 Black small business owners. Black women own 65% of those businesses.
Trends in recent years’ top challenges for Black-owned small businesses spotlight the importance of CBBB grantmaking. In 2021, grantees reported that “reduced consumer traffic” was the top challenge affecting their business – a lingering pandemic effect – while today’s grantees note “access to capital” as the leading concern. This signals a return to historical challenges Black-owned businesses have faced outside of crises such as the pandemic.
For more information, visit webackblackbusinesses.com, and follow us on social to meet a few of the 2022-23 small business owners in the coming weeks!