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Beyoncé Partners with NAACP to Support Small Black-Owned Businesses Affected By COVID-19

Eligible small business owners in Houston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, New York, and Los Angeles can now apply for $10,000 ‘Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund’ grants through July 18.

Beyoncé has partnered with The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to support small black-owned businesses affected by the pandemic through her BeyGood foundation, a global initiative founded in 2013 to inspire people to be kind, to be charitable and to #BeyGood to themselves, to others, to the community, and to our world.

“BeyGOOD announces The Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund, assisting small businesses negatively impacted by recent events. The NAACP is proud to partner with BeyGOOD to help strengthen small businesses and to ensure economic empowerment for Black businesses.”

Special grants in the amount of $10,000 each will be offered to small black-owned businesses in five select U.S. cities, which include Atlanta, Houston, New York, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, with the specified goal of replacing damaged property.  Submissions will be accepted through July 18, 2020, and selected applicants will be announced on the singer’s website Beyonce.com on July 31, 2020.

“Over the last couple of months, the pandemic and outpours for justice throughout the Black community and across the country has been felt in every imaginable area of our lives, including in how our local businesses continue to operate,” the NAACP said in a recent statement. “The challenges of Black business owners navigating in the climate cannot be understated, as the effects of uprisings across the nation have led to many businesses being placed in dire straits due to damages and other small business needs.”

For additional details on the Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund administered by the NAACP and to apply for a grant, please visit https://naacp.org/black-owned-business-impact-fund.

About NAACP

The NAACP, founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the United States. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the country, along with well over two million activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

Wells Fargo Bank Donates $400M to Small Businesses Recovery Efforts

We’ve got to help these businesses if we want them to survive the combination of the COVID shutdown and the recession. -Jenny Flores, Head of Small Business Growth Philanthropy

Following an April 2020 industry-leading commitment to donate all gross processing fees from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) has unveiled the details of an approximately $400 million effort to help small businesses impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keep their doors open, retain employees, and rebuild. Through Wells Fargo’s new Open for Business Fund, the company will engage nonprofit organizations to provide capital, technical support, and long-term resiliency programs to small businesses with an emphasis on those that are minority-owned businesses.

Through June 30, 2020, Wells Fargo funded loans under the PPP for over 179,000 customers, with an average loan amount of $56,000, totaling $10.1 billion. Of the loans made, 84% of those are for companies that have less than 10 employees; 60% were for amounts of $25,000 or less; and, 90% of these applicants had $2 million or less in annual revenue. Given the federal government’s extension of the PPP, Wells Fargo will reopen its PPP loan application process to eligible customers as soon as possible through a link in Business Online Banking ® or CEO®.

“By donating approximately $400 million in processing fees to assist small businesses in need, Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund creates opportunities for near-term access to capital and addresses the road ahead to meaningful economic recovery, especially for Black and African American entrepreneurs and other minority-owned businesses,” said Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf. “Wells Fargo is committed to helping small businesses impacted by COVID-19 stay open and get back to growth.”

According to data from Wells Fargo’s June Gallup/Small Business Index, more than half of small business owners surveyed expect either stagnant or decreasing revenues in the coming 12 months.

Accelerating Small Business Recovery for Communities in Need

The Open for Business Fund’s initial grants will allocate $28 million to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), also known as nonprofit community lenders, aimed at empowering Black and African American-owned small businesses, which are closing at nearly twice the rate of the industry, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Among the first grantees:

  • Expanding Black Business Credit Initiative (EBBC) will support the launch of the Black Vision Fund to increase the flow of capital to Black-focused CDFIs for transformational work to close the racial wealth gap in African American communities. The CDFIs will also receive capital for urgent deployment to impacted businesses in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Midwest.
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) will provide grants and low cost capital to more than 2,800 entrepreneurs with a focus on preventing loss in revenue, sustaining employment, and averting vacancies among vulnerable small business owners in urban and rural markets nationwide.

“Black businesses have faced the largest shutdown of any diverse group in the country,” said Ron Busby, Sr., CEO of U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. “We lost 41%, or 450,000 Black-owned small businesses, in this pandemic so far and all of those businesses provided jobs so we need to accelerate an economic agenda that helps them recover. The funding that Wells Fargo is putting back into Black businesses and other minority-owned small businesses across the country is truly going to be appreciated and will give the kick start entrepreneurs need to continue and grow.”

Beginning today, the Open for Business Fund is accepting applications from CDFIs and special purpose funds formed by CDFIs serving racially and ethnically diverse small businesses for its first grant cycle, open now through August 7. Additional grant cycles focused on technical assistance and recovery and resiliency will open later this year. Nonprofits can learn more at www.wellsfargo.com/about/corporate-responsibility/community-giving.

Small business sentiment

The Small Business Index, which provides a quarterly pulse check of sentiment from small business owners on their economic situations and the wider economic landscape, highlighted higher optimism on their financial outlook in June than in April. However, this was still 19% lower than in January, prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. In specifically oversampling African American, Hispanic, Asian, and women business owners, June’s survey also observed that 52% of these owners felt the U.S. economy was in a recession or depression, while 26% said they did not feel very prepared or at all prepared for the economic downturn from the pandemic.

“June’s survey saw business owner optimism increasing as reopenings have been getting underway, but the overall data shows that for many, there’s still a long road to recovery,” said Mark Vitner, chief economist at Wells Fargo. “The pandemic’s effects are also still being sorted out as communities across the country are in different stages of recovery, so optimism around indicators like revenues and number of jobs will continue to shift as those stages progress.”

Contributing to the Small Business Ecosystem

Building a thriving small business sector has a lasting impact on communities and on job creation. Since 2015, the $175 million Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital program has enabled more than 90 CDFIs to finance $1.6 billion in loans and offer 1.8 million hours of training to diverse small business owners, which have helped them sustain 195,000 jobs.

As part of the Diverse Community Capital program, the Wells Fargo Foundation and the National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders started the nation’s largest loan fund for Latino-owned small businesses with a $10 million grant.

Separately, in March, Wells Fargo announced it aims to invest up to $50 million in Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) as part of its commitment to support economic growth in African American communities where MDIs, often community-based banks, provide mortgage loans, small business lending, and other banking services.

SmalI Business Index Methodology

Results for Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey are based on web interviews with 1,478 small business owners, conducted during the period of May 29-June 5, 2020. This survey also included an oversample of diverse segments — ensuring a minimum of 300 interviews each among African American, Asian, and Hispanic small business owners. Beginning in second quarter 2019, the interview process formally transitioned from outbound phone data collection to a national small business web opt-in panel provider.


Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.98 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment, and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,400 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com), and mobile banking, and has offices in 31 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 263,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 30 on Fortune’s 2020 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights, and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Source: Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC)

Treasury Department Releases Names of Over 650,000 Small Businesses That Received PPP Loans

The United States Small Business Administration, in consultation with the United States Department of the Treasury, announced July 6, 2020, it was releasing detailed loan-level data regarding the loans made under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  This disclosure covers each of the 4.9 million PPP loans that have been made.

“The PPP is providing much-needed relief to millions of American small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs and over 80 percent of all small business employees, who are the drivers of economic growth in our country,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “We are particularly pleased that 27% of the program’s reach in low and moderate income communities which is in proportion to percentage of population in these areas.  The average loan size is approximately $100,000, demonstrating that the program is serving the smallest of businesses,” he continued.  “Today’s release of loan data strikes the appropriate balance of providing the American people with transparency, while protecting sensitive payroll and personal income information of small businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors.”

“The PPP is an indisputable success for small businesses, especially to the communities in which these employers serve as the main job creators,” said Administrator Jovita Carranza.  “In three months, this Administration was able to act quickly to get funding into the hands of those who faced enormous obstacles as a result of the pandemic.  Today’s data shows that small businesses of all types and across all industries benefited from this unprecedented program.  The jobs numbers released last week reinforced that PPP is working by keeping employees on payroll and sustaining millions of small businesses through this time.”

Today’s release includes loan-level data, including business names, addresses, NAICS codes, zip codes, business type, demographic data, non-profit information, name of lender, jobs supported, and loan amount ranges as follows:

  • $150,000-350,000
  • $350,000-1 million
  • $1-2 million
  • $2-5 million
  • $5-10 million

These categories account for nearly 75 percent of the loan dollars approved.  For all loans below $150,000, SBA is releasing all of the above information except for business names and addresses.

The data release also includes overall statistics regarding dollars lent per state, loan amounts, top lenders, and distribution by industry.  The loans have reached diverse communities proportionally, across all income levels and demographics.

In addition, the data provides information regarding the sizes of participating lenders and participation by community development financial institutions, minority depository institutions, Farm Credit System institutions, fintechs and other nonbanks, and other types of lenders.  It further contains data showing the reach of the program in underserved communities, rural communities, historically underutilized business zones (HUBZones), and participation by religious, grantmaking, civil, professional, and other similar organizations.

Source: Treasury Department

Lowe’s Diversity and Talent Management VP to Lead Human Resources

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) has appointment Janice Dupre Little executive vice president of human resources, effective June 22, 2020.

Janice Dupre Little is a seasoned executive with 15 years of human resources and diversity and inclusion experience.  Little joined Lowe’s Companies, Inc. in 2017 and most recently served as senior vice president of diversity and talent management. She has worked closely with leaders across the enterprise to expand and develop solutions that support Lowe’s mission and core behaviors while making diversity and inclusion a signature priority for the company. Prior to Lowe’s, Little served as vice president, diversity and inclusion, chief diversity officer, for McKesson Corp. She also held several human resources leadership positions at Dell. Before transitioning into human resources, Little served in finance and accounting roles with Dell, IBM and Ernst & Young.

“We are pleased that as our executive vice president of human resources Janice will bring her deep understanding of diversity and inclusion to this leadership role,” said Marvin R. Ellison, Lowe’s president and CEO. “During her tenure, Janice has been integral in shaping our organization’s global strategies for talent, culture, and leadership development. Her experience working with leaders and maximizing human capital will make her a valuable contributor to our team. We look forward to leveraging her extensive expertise and ensuring Lowe’s remains a workplace of choice for current and future leaders.”

“I am honored and excited to lead the Lowe’s human resources team. People are the company’s most important resource. I look forward to the opportunity to build on Lowe’s commitment to fostering an environment where individuals are treated fairly, valued, respected, safe and inspired to serve customers and the community,” said Little.

Little earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA in finance and management from the University of Texas at Austin, and she is a certified public accountant. She is an active member of the Executive Leadership Council, current board member of Disability:IN and an advisory board member for Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute. In 2016 and 2018, she was named one of Black Enterprise’s Top Executives in Corporate Diversity.

About Lowe’s

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company serving approximately 18 million customers a week in the United States and Canada. With fiscal year 2019 sales of $72.1 billion, Lowe’s and its related businesses operate or service more than 2,200 home improvement and hardware stores and employ approximately 300,000 associates. Based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs focused on creating safe, affordable housing and helping to develop the next generation of skilled trade experts. For more information, visit Lowes.com.

Source: Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

Private Equity Firm Offers Zero-Percent Interest Loans to Businesses of Color Impacted by COVID-19, Civil Unrest

Building Wealth & Communities (BWC) Capital, announced the launch of the BWC+invest Zero-Percent Interest Loan Program. Developed for small, emerging businesses of color across the country, the program will provide a minimum of $10,000 for businesses disproportionately impacted by temporary and permanent closures due to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest surrounding recent police brutality and racial bias cases.
Established in partnership with the Racial Equity Institute (REI), a Greensboro, NC-based alliance of racial equity trainers, organizers and institutional leaders, the program grants qualified borrowers three-years to repay the loan with an up to 50% loan forgiveness option.

“The Racial Equity Institute believes that we must begin taking stock of the glacial nature of racial disparities and economic inequity. Current approaches have been a bit anemic in response to the magnitude of issues at hand,” said Deena Hayes-Greene, REI’s co-founder and managing director. “The murder of George Floyd and the COVID-19 pandemic have presented us with indisputable evidence that the African American community suffers the greatest disproportionality of any group in this state, in this country.”

Hayes-Greene adds, “While we will join the masses of people demanding systemic change, we will also join BWC in empowering ourselves and our community by putting our money where our mouth is. We encourage other organizations dedicated to building resilient communities of color to support our efforts to highlight the concerns for a broader approach to closing persistent racial gaps in our community.”

BWC’s goal is to deploy $10 million in loans over a five-year period to businesses of color. The firm has already committed $100,000 over five years towards the initiative and seeks to encourage single and multi-year investments from institutional investors, philanthropists, and the community-at-large.

“Since inception in 2005, BWC has helped to build financial strategies to ensure infrastructure improvements on black college campuses and access to capital for major projects and businesses in underserved communities of color to the tune of over $1 billion in transactions,” said Bridget Chisholm, BWC’s founder and managing partner. “We are proud of our accomplishments and economic impacts such as jobs created and Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) spending, but we know there is more to do. We refuse to stand by while communities of color collapse under the weight of business inoperability and racial inequities. The time is now, and we heed the call to act on behalf of black community growth and sustainability.”

Qualifying businesses of color must have at least one year of operation, two or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees and an established track record for producing enough cash flow (or a plan to re-establish it) to support loan repayment within a three-year period or to meet the requirements of the up to 50% loan forgiveness guidelines. Each application will be reviewed by a select community development committee within 72 hours of application submission. Loan approvals or disapprovals will be communicated to the applicant no later than seven business days after submissions.

“We believe our communities are in a state of emergency. Therefore, it is in the best interest of our program to work quickly to provide the capital needed to help businesses of color succeed,” said Chisholm.

Application submission will open on July 1, 2020.

Source: Building Wealth & Communities (BWC) Capital

70 Hispanic Chambers of Commerce to Receive Relief Grants

Wells Fargo & Company and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) are proud to announce the dissemination of 70 Emergency Relief Grants totaling $100,000 to America’s Hispanic Chambers of Commerce who are leading in providing technical assistance to small businesses throughout the country.

“Wells Fargo is proud to sponsor the annual Local Chamber Grants Initiative with the USHCC,” said Regina Heyward, Senior Vice President and Head of Supplier Diversity at Wells Fargo. “As we all continue to adjust to the present needs and new business realities, Wells Fargo and USHCC are working diligently to give Hispanic-owned businesses access to the resources to retool, restore and recover. With more than 3.3 million Hispanic-owned businesses across the U.S., we were quick to reshape this program to allot more funding to as many chambers of commerce as possible and provide technical assistance in English and Spanish to those businesses who need the most support. Since the start of the pandemic, Wells Fargo has accelerated local funding to more than 150 nonprofits, like the USHCC, who serve the urgent needs of small business owners.”

Each year, the USHCC partners with Wells Fargo to open a competitive grant application for programs that help small businesses grow and support the Hispanic community, with a focus on growing Hispanic Business Enterprises (HBEs). This year, with the overwhelming need of Hispanic Chambers throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico due to the economic impact of COVID-19, the USHCC expanded this program to provide support for more chambers and business owners through resources and technical assistance.

“It is great to see the powerful work that the USHCC is doing to help Hispanic Chambers of Commerce throughout the country who are our ‘boots on the ground’ delivering technical assistance to their small business members during this difficult time,” said Carmen Castillo, USHCC Chair of the Board of Directors.

“Thank you to Wells Fargo for making this initiative possible,” added Monika Mantilla, Chair of the USHCC Educational Fund Board of Directors. “We are eager to help Hispanic Business Enterprises (HBEs) by supporting these 70 Hispanic Chambers of Commerce throughout America to provide assistance to their members.”

Chambers of Commerce provide valuable support to job creators and businesses. During this time especially, chamber employees are becoming go-to hubs for bilingual technical assistance for filling out applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and other programs.

The following Hispanic Chambers were selected for these Emergency Relief Grants, based on their applications for the Local Chamber Grant Program, active involvement with the USHCC, and other emergency requests from chambers that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19:

Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce
Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Brazoria County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation
Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Greater Lehigh Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Greater Oklahoma City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Greater Riverside Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Greater San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Hispanic Business Initiative Fund, Inc. (dba Prospera®)
Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Colorado Springs
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay
Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce
Hispanic Chambers of Commerce of San Francisco
Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Irving Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Latin American Chamber of Charlotte
Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia
Latin Chamber of Commerce of Las Vegas Nevada
Latin Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin
Latino Chamber of Commerce Minnesota
Latino Chamber of Commerce of Pueblo
Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce
Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Merced County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Metropolitan Savannah Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Morris County Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce
Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce
Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Northern Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Puerto Rican/Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County
Regional Hispanic Contractors Association
Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Salvadoran American Chamber of Commerce
San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Seattle Latino Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey
The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce
The New Jersey State Veterans Chamber of Commerce
Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Tulare-Kings Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce
Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Wichita Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Source: Wells Fargo & Company

New Identity

Submitted by L. Miller

Were you ever divorced, the victim of identity theft, domestic violence, or another crime? Are you in severe debt? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may be eligible for a new identity with a second Social Security number (watch).

[huge_it_video_player id=”3″]




Fair Chance Employment

Chinese businessman with arms outstretched

Too often, a criminal record disqualifies individuals from being a full participant in their communities, even after they have already paid their debt to society. As a result, millions of individuals across the country have difficulty finding employment.

Approximately 100 cities and counties in 24 states have adopted what is widely known as “ban the box” so that employers consider a job candidate’s qualifications first, without the stigma of a criminal record. Nine states have also removed the conviction history question from job applications for private employers.

Below you will find the list of employers that have signed the Fair Chance Pledge to achieve the goals of promoting opportunity for all, eliminating barriers to reentry.

View Employers

Below you will find the full Fair Chance Employment Guide from the National Employment Law Project, which you can view online, download, or print.

View Full Guide

 

 

 

Exterminating Black Men – The New Holocaust?

judicialAfrican American men are in the midst of a holocaust of sorts. They are being destroyed and slaughtered on a mass scale in America.

The current holocaust is unlike the one we learned about in our History classes where there were easily identifiable concentration camps, Auschwitz guards and gas chambers.

No, the new twenty-first century holocaust is more understated, with easily identifiable prisons, police officers, and gang bangers.

According to a report by the NAACP, African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population. That is nearly 1 million individuals unable to thrive and/or reproduce.
Not only that, jails and prisons are recognized as settings where society’s infectious diseases are highly concentrated. Again, stripping African Americans of their ability to thrive and/or reproduce.

Some call it mass incarceration, but others view it as destruction on a mass scale. In other words, a holocaust. Except now, there are no guards rounding up African Americans like the Jews I read about in The Diary of Anne Frank. Instead, blacks are committing crimes and placing themselves in “concentration camps” across the country.
Those not committing crimes as a result of poverty and structural inequalities are being executed in the streets by police officers and gang members at high rates like roaches in a fog of pesticide. Either way, African Americans are being exterminated at an alarming rate.

Of those 1 million inmates, how many will have their family line end as a result of their incarceration? Those with children can expect their offspring to live a life of crime and poverty and potentially end the family line themselves. Exterminated!

Those whose family lines end in the judicial system, or otherwise destroyed, can be considered the lucky ones that escape slaughter on a mass scale on our inner-city streets. There, they will find instant slaughter by police or other blacks at a much faster rate.

According to the findings of a Guardian study, young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers in 2015. Despite making up only 2% of the total population in the United States, African American males between the ages of 15 and 34 comprised more than 15% of all deaths by the use of deadly force by police. The equivalent of the “mass graves” we read about from the holocaust.
Crime, poverty and incarceration have exterminated our future generations. If “Black Lives Matter,” what are we doing about it?

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