'We Don't Have The Luxury Of Waiting For Politicians': Local Black Orgs Fill Funding Gap

Apr 27, 2020

Greater Cincinnati's African American Chamber of Commerce and MORTAR are partnering to create a Minority Business Emergency Assistance Fund. The money is designated for minority and small businesses that are hurting because of the COVID-19 pandemic and need access to capital immediately. Funding can be used to fill payroll gaps, make rent and mortgage payments, as well as other bill payments.

“We are acting now to save a generation of minority small businesses in the Cincinnati region," Chamber President Eric H. Kearney says in a press release. "The Minority Business Emergency Assistance Fund represents good people and great corporate citizens doing the smart thing to maintain and grow our black and minority business community. We are overwhelmed and grateful for the cooperation and support."

The federal government's $349 billion aid program was supposed to go to small business owners but banks prioritized applications from its wealthiest clients. Reporting also shows flaws in the program hinders minority businesses from receiving support.

"The Cincinnati region is home to one of the nation's strongest ecosystems for entrepreneurs of color. We don’t have the luxury of waiting for politicians to devise solutions, many of which will fall short of our true needs," MORTAR Development Director and Co-Founder Derrick Braziel says in a release. "The only way this generation of hard-working, job-creating businesses will survive is by identifying needed resources and creating a mutual aid network to fill those needs.”

Businesses receiving support must agree to work with service providers to incorporate technology platforms into their businesses. Those interested in learning more should fill out this form