COVID-19 has provided an opportunity to speak even more candidly about the lack of investment opportunities and intentional disinvestment in Black people and Black communities. At the top of the pandemic, many financial programs were rolled out to help small businesses, and very few of those programs were specific to or accounted for Black businesses. And most were left behind. A telling story…
The social unrest that erupted after the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota brought more opportunities to the table for Black business owners, but many of the issues that existed when the COVID-19 funds were released still exist in several Black businesses. i.e., no municipality registration, no business bank account, no tax returns, no business credit, and poor personal credit, no financial statements or documentation to support payroll, especially for sole-proprietors, no website or business phone number, and no social media presence. These standard business documents prevented thousands of small Black businesses in Metro Chicago from participating in the EIDL and PPP programs. And it sadly will prevent many of them from accessing funds designated for Black business too, if immediate action is not taken.
HWLF was born from its ancestors’ entrepreneurial spirit and wants to stand in the gap to support emerging and existing black businesses through an incubation program. Hence, they can transform into, and show up in the world as independent, viable businesses. This program will be a safe space for black innovators, artists, youth, and business people to ideate, learn, network, attend boot camps, and co-work in a welcoming environment. Best of all, the Black Business Incubation program is free for all participants made possible through grant funding.
Interested in participating in the Black Businesss Incubation Program?
Complete this form http://bit.ly/blackbusinessinterest.