Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses and the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are partnering with Flagstar Bank to administer $150,000 in grant funds in West Michigan.
Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses (GRABB) and the Hispanic chamber were each allocated $75,000 to distribute as part of the bank’s $1 million commitment to small businesses owned by Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) whose operating expenses are impacted by COVID-19.
Grants will be awarded in $5,000 amounts.
“We are thrilled about the opportunity Flagstar Bank is giving the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,” said Guillermo Cisneros, executive director of the Hispanic chamber. “To manage our own funds and to be able to distribute funds within our Latinx business community — this demonstrates real trust in grassroots organizations of color like ours to serve our own people.”
Grants may be used to cover day-to-day operating expenses such as rent, working capital, payroll, utility bills or losses due to destabilizing events, etc. Grants may be used for transitioning to e-commerce, curbside pickup, delivery integrations and other creative solutions to increase revenue.
“We are appreciative of the opportunity Flagstar Bank has provided us to financially support Black businesses in our community,” said Jamiel Robinson, founder/curator of GRABB. “The $75,000 grant from Flagstar Bank will allow GRABB to support Black businesses who have been hardest hit by the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s been reported nationally that nearly 41% of Black businesses have closed due to COVID-19.”
Flagstar is supporting businesses in Michigan, Indiana (South Bend and Fort Wayne), and California (High Desert of San Bernardino County).
“We have a commitment to our communities and to keeping our promises to them,” said Alessandro DiNello, CEO of Flagstar Bank. “Reversing decades of systemic inequities is a marathon, and we are in it to the finish. These grants are an important milestone along the way to making our communities and our company better and more equitable for all.”
Eligible businesses in West Michigan may submit applications to either GRABB or the chamber by emailing all necessary documents to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Applications are due by 5 p.m. Nov. 20.