by Jarquita Brown
CLARKSDALE, Miss. — It has been recently reported that several small Black-owned businesses are being heavily impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Higher Purpose Co (HPC) surveyed several Black-owned businesses throughout Mississippi to determine their immediate needs.
In response to COVID-19, HPC has established a Black Business Relief Fund to ease the stress of many of its entrepreneurs it serves throughout the state. The purpose of this fund is to assist Black entrepreneurs with business resiliency by providing relief grants of up to $5,000.
HPC has raised a total of $400,000 that will be allocated towards relief grants. Beginning May 6th, entrepreneurs will be able to apply for the Black Business Relief Fund. $2,500 will be awarded to businesses without physical locations and $5,000 for businesses with physical locations.
Higher Purpose Co CEO Tim Lampkin said, “We looked at other relief programs across the state and noticed the gap in funding to support Black businesses. It was important for us to develop a relief fund we could oversee and control on the community level.
Our Capital Access Coordinator, Constance Brown, Esq. and Director of Development and Partnerships, Leonette Henderson have worked with me daily to launch this fund. We know this is another historic moment for us to continue amplifying our mission to serve Black entrepreneurs across our state.”
The Black Business Relief Fund is open to any existing business in any industry. HPC hopes the funds will help small businesses survive and thrive through this time of uncertainty.
The initial application is short and only takes about 10 minutes to complete. Grants will be awarded on a weekly basis, but you only need to apply one time to be eligible for funding.
Businesses not eligible to apply for funding are nonprofits, religious organizations, liquor stores, real estate investment firms, adult entertainment, and financing or check cashing companies.
The Black Business Relief Fund is supported by the Surdna Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, The Commonplace Fund at RSF Social Finance, Tides Foundation, Chrysalis Fund, Regions Bank, and the Globetrotter Foundation.
The deadline to apply is Wednesday, May 20th.
To learn more about the Black Business Relief Fund and to apply, go to Covid19brf.HigherPurposeCo.org.