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The Alliance Healthcare Foundation Friday announced a $75,000 pledge to the Black Business Relief Grant Fund program to help meet its goal of raising $1 million in 60 days to support Black businesses in San Diego County.

The fund was created by the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce to address gaps in general COVID-19 relief funding efforts. The Chamber cited challenges imposed by economic systems that have left Black-owned businesses underfunded and Black people underemployed and particularly vulnerable to global health and economic crises such as those now impacting the region.

“Black residents of the County of San Diego are nearly twice as likely as white residents to contract COVID-19,” said Donna DeBerry, president and CEO of the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce. “And our businesses, which tend to focus on front-line work in services involving one-on- one contact, were forced to close without viable options to work from home. As a result, after three months of economic disruption, our community needs your support — for the good of us all.

According to DeBerry, around 95% of all Black-owned businesses have been shut out of federal Paycheck Protection Program funds.

The Chamber created the fund by committing $50,000 on June 10, and nearly $300,000 had been raised by the second week.

The fund will aid at least 200 Black-owned businesses with grants from $250 to $10,000, with selections “led by community members who will set the criteria and review applications to ensure a culturally-competent process to get funds to those who need assistance,” according to the Chamber.

Learn more about the grant fund at https://www.reliefgrant.sdblackchamber.org/.

–City News Service

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