American Express Grants for Black Businesses are available through the Coalition to Back Black Businesses, a distinctive partnership in September 2020 with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, as well as four notable enterprises, such as the National Black Chamber of Commerce.

The inaugural resources were used to pay workers, settle liabilities, pay lease and utility bills, establish e-commerce operations, finance PPE purchases, and grow or reorient business models, among other things. Small business owners in the United States have suffered immensely ever since the global pandemic.

Numerous black-owned business owners have expressed difficulties in acquiring loan facilities and grants to run their operations. They are concerned that COVID-19 will cause their company to close indefinitely.

It should be noted that the major target of this project is small black-owned companies recovering from the economic meltdown induced by the pandemic. The American Express Coalition has provided $5,000 grants to an estimated 272 black-owned new companies and small enterprises to help them with long-term development and current financial necessities.

How Does the Coalition to Back Black Businesses Work?

The CBBB grant program is divided into three main parts to encourage the long-term success of the black small business community.

  1. Mentorship

Each recipient will have direct connections to a coaching and mentoring program with Ureeka to help their company expand via advice and control from mentors with knowledge and experience in their specific fields or industries.

  1. Improvement Grants

Once the $5,000 grants are distributed, American Express and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation will grant one of the most exciting recipients a challenging $25,000 enhancement grant each summer. Also, note that at least four percent of the grant beneficiaries in each group will receive this funding to encourage their companies to thrive.

  1. Online Resources

The webpage of the CBBB will provide a diverse range of resources for Black-owned smaller companies. It will create a robust catalog of initiatives and training resources to support the recuperation and expansion of the Black small business community.

Eligibility Requirements for Joining the Coalition to Support Black Businesses

To be able to qualify for the Coalition to Support Black Businesses, you should be a black business owner or own at least 51 percent stake in your company. Your company requires 3 to 20 contract employees and part-time or full-time workers.

Your company cannot be a franchise chain with more than 25 corporate-owned locations or 250 locations operating across the country. The company should be located in a fiscally depressed or impoverished community.

CBBB partners believe that Black-owned companies that have suffered economic problems as a result of the global epidemic are serious contenders for the grant. Numerous industries and business models are unqualified for grants, including:

  • Any type of non-profit organization, government agency, or public administration.
  • Gas stations or places of business housed on the premises of a gas station
  • Companies that engage in unlawful and illicit activities
  • Shopping property management enterprises
  • Direct sellers
  • Any business that manufactures, promotes, or sells diet pills, marijuana, gambling, tobacco (including tobacco products such as e-cigarettes), weapons, or firearms.
  • Private clubs and businesses that set membership restrictions based on criteria other than capacity
  • Businesses that are directly engaged in non-religious or religious contexts in providing education, consultation, and indoctrinating religious beliefs.
  • Companies owned by American Employees, directors, and officers of the Chamber of Commerce Foundation, National Partners, American Express, Coalition funders, partner institutions, and each member’s direct relatives (parents, kids, partner, and family members) or people who live in their home (whether related or not)
  • Companies that yield more than a de minimis sum of gross revenue or profits from the auction of goods or services, or the showing of any sexually explicit images or displays, either directly or indirectly.
  • Businesses that have been sanctioned by the United States Department of the Treasury

How to Apply for the Coalition to Back Black Businesses Grant

Before trying to apply, entrepreneurs are expected to indicate their interest on the CBBB’s website between September 14 and September 22. Note that a waitlist of more than 400 entrepreneurs who apply will be randomly selected as finalists.

The number of grants might vary a bit depending on the amount of funding available each year. To indicate interest, Black-owned businesses must submit the following details: company name, contact number, email address, industry, and business zip code.

CBBB partners would also inquire whether the company is run by women and is affiliated with the four national partners. Business owners must also illustrate how the global epidemic has affected them. Remember that submitting your CBBB request before September 22 will not impact your likelihood of being chosen as a recipient.

Keep in mind that if your company is picked as a top contender, you must complete an application which will take 15 to 20 minutes to complete, and will submit your Employee Identification Number (EIN), W-9 form, and other documentary evidence and basic information. You have seven days after being notified that you are a top contender to finish the finalist application.

Conclusion

The Coalition to Back Black Businesses is an outstanding 3-year grant offering and coaching commitment to help Black-owned smaller companies rebuild and move forward after the COVID-19 pandemic. CBBB grants cannot be used for lobbying or political purposes.

Aside from that, the grant program is open and without constraints. Over 60% of recipients are using these funds for small company advertisements. Some beneficiaries use the funds to reimburse wage bills, month–to–month utilities, inventory expansion, lease, debt repayment, and the acquisition of personal protective equipment.