Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses and the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce received $75,000 each from Flagstar Bank to offer grants to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
GRABB and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will provide $5,000 grants to small businesses for working capital to pay daily operating expenses such as rent, payroll and utilities.
Grant recipients may also use the money for transitioning to e-commerce, curbside pickup, delivery integration, and “other creative solutions to increase revenue,” according to an announcement on the grants.
The $75,000 each organization received is part of a $1 million grant program Troy-based Flagstar Bank created for small businesses owned by people of color. GRABB and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are administering the grant program in West Michigan.
“To manage our own funds and to be able to distribute funds within our Latinx business community, this demonstrates real trust in grassroots organizations of color like ours to serve our own people,” said Guillermo Cisneros, executive director of the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber.
Small businesses chosen for grants will receive notification on Dec. 4 with the funds distributed a few days after.
“The $75,000 grant from Flagstar Bank will allow GRABB to support Black businesses who have been hardest hit by the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s been reported nationally that nearly 41 percent of Black businesses have closed due to COVID-19,” said Jamiel Robinson, founder and curator of Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses.
Flagstar Bank is providing the $1 million for grant programs supporting minority-owned small businesses in regions of Michigan, Indiana and California.
“We have a commitment to our communities and to keeping our promises to them,” said CEO Alessandro DiNello. “Reversing decades of systemic inequities is a marathon, and we are in it to the finish. These grants are an important milestone along the way to making our communities and our company better and more equitable for all.”