The Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce thanked the San Diego City Council this week for its support for underserved communities, while also beginning to issue grants from its own fund for businesses in distress.
The City Council approved $700,000 for businesses in underserved communities facing hard times due to the coronavirus.
The city funds include $500,000 to support outreach to businesses and an additional $200,000 for other technical assistance.
The chamber also will begin issuing 199 awards in its first round of support for Black-owned businesses in San Diego. Officials have raised $500,000 of the $1 million goal for the Black Business Relief Grant Fund.
In the first round of grants, 64% went to sole proprietors, with the awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Almost 75% of the recipients are female and nearly 40% were childcare providers.
The businesses also will receive support from the San Diego & Imperial Valley Small Business Development Network.
“We are very pleased with the City Council’s unanimous approval to support recovery of underrepresented businesses,” said Donna Deberry, the chamber’s CEO. “The commitment complements the efforts of the BBRF, to see, stand with, and support Black-owned businesses in their recovery and rebuilding.”
Recent gifts or pledges to the fund from local organizations include:
- The San Diego Foundation, $125,000,
- Alliance Healthcare Foundation, $75,000,
- San Diego Padres, $40,000,
- US Bank, Cal Coast Credit Union, Sycuan Casino Resort, and Cox Communications, $10,000 each.
Most Black-owned businesses – 95% – were shut out from the Paycheck Protection Program during the first round of loans of federal relief, according to the Center for Responsible Lending.
The chamber fund aims to shrink the disproportionate and growing gaps in economic opportunity for Black business owners.
“The breadth of businesses represented in this first round of grants reflects the vibrancy of the Black small business community in San Diego, and demonstrates the critical essential roles so many Black businesses are serving during these unprecedented times,” said Debbie McKeon, President and Chief Executive Officer at San Diego Grantmakers, a fiscal sponsor of the relief fund.
– Staff reports
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