With more than 1,400 grantees and $8.5 million in grants distributed since 2020, the Coalition to Back Black Businesses continues to support America's Black-owned small businesses through ongoing economic shifts
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Coalition to Back Black Businesses (CBBB) today announced it has awarded $25,000 enhancement grants to 14 Black small business owners across the U.S. to support their growth and long-term success. Among the 14 recipients, 30 percent started their businesses during the pandemic, 79 percent are women-owned, and 43 percent have six or fewer employees. Now in its third year of grantmaking, the program has reached 1,414 small businesses across the U.S. with $8.5 million in grants disbursed.
“Many of these business owners took a chance and started their company during a time of great uncertainty. Every year I’m always inspired by the grit and unwavering determination demonstrated by our grantees,” said Carolyn Cawley, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “We’re proud to offer the support they need to thrive and unlock new opportunities through this program.”
The Coalition to Back Black Businesses began in September 2020 in response to the tumultuous economic state accompanying the pandemic, which left many U.S. small businesses struggling to survive. The initiative was co-founded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and American Express and is led in partnership with The National Black Chamber of Commerce, National Business League, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., and Walker’s Legacy. This year, the program also received additional support from Cummins, Optimum, and Shopify.
The CBBB enhancement grants are given to the most promising grantees who participate in the program’s yearlong mentorship and business development activities. As small businesses continue to navigate economic uncertainty, enhancement grantees noted networking, mentorship, and coaching, in addition to access to capital, as crucial components of building long-term competitiveness and resiliency.
“While law school teaches us how to be analytical and logical problem solvers, it does not teach us how to be entrepreneurs,” said Neubia Harris, owner of The Law Office of Neubia Harris, PLLC in Raleigh, North Carolina and a 2023 grant recipient. “The CBBB business coaching has helped me identify my target clients, ascertain and achieve ambitious goals, and led to increased revenue.”
“The enhancement grant will provide the necessary financial support to invest in key areas, such as marketing, product development, and talent acquisition,” says Kimberly Smith, owner of beauty company Eighth+Kin in Washington, D.C. and a 2023 grant recipient. “This grant will enable me to expand my reach, improve operational efficiency, and enhance the overall competitiveness of my business.”
About CBBB Enhancement Grant Recipients
Fourteen small business owners were selected by a panel of judges to receive the $25,000 enhancement grant out of the 324 grantees in the 2022-2023 cohort.
Grantees represent a wide range of industries across the U.S., ranging from creative and food services to beauty merchandising. They hail from major metropolitan cities, as well as suburban areas serving an array of consumers and their communities. This year’s enhancement grant recipients include a coffee shop owner in Houston, TX, a luxury car service out of Newburgh, N.Y., and a financial services provider in the metropolitan Detroit area, among others.
With business ownership among Black women on the rise, 65 percent of CBBB 2023 grantees identify as Black women.
The full list of this year's enhancement grantees is below:
Learn more about the winners and how the CBBB program has positively impacted their businesses at webackblackbusinesses.com/recipients-2023/.
Applications for next year’s grant program will open in August. For more information on eligibility and the application process, visit webackblackbusinesses.com.