Community Justice & Equity
The Community Justice & Equity program equips and empowers local entrepreneurs, providing culturally-specific support and access to the tools needed to build and sustain a small business. While the program is open to all, our efforts especially focus on Black-owned businesses who have been disproportionately impacted by historic inequity and COVID-19.
According to a report by the House Committee on Small Business, Black business ownership declined more than 40% between February and April of 2020, the largest drop among any ethnic group. Building on historic inequity and a disproportionate lack of access to capital, as well as fewer business mentorship relationships and fewer business opportunities, Black-owned businesses have been less able to weather the economic and social effects of the pandemic.
KEY PROGRAM GOALS INCLUDE:
Normalize and demystify foundational processes such as incorporation and LLC establishment, obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN), opening a business bank account, and maintaining financial records.
Identify areas where entrepreneurs and businesses can improve efficiency and market reach, building capacity via culturally-specific outreach and support.
Support entrepreneurs as they grow and continue to respond to their needs.
Build community knowledge of business practices, increasing the proportion of entrepreneurs of color who start and succeed in business.
Encourage and support resource sharing, convenings, and other community connections that support a healthy, equitable business environment.