At the Connecticut Post Mall in Milford, Tuesday was a big day for the Black Business Alliance (BBA) as the organization received a major donation that they say is going to do a lot of good throughout the state.
During a ceremony that took place Tuesday morning, Sen. Richard Blumenthal announced a $100,000 federal grant was being awarded to the BBA to fund their ‘Black Business Funding Superhighway’ - a program that supports Black-owned businesses through financial literacy training, loan application support, and networking opportunities.
The BBA team says this fits right in with their mission. They are a nonprofit organization that seeks to help local and statewide minority businesses by addressing the gaps in access to funding and providing educational resources.
"We talk about the 40% of Black-owned businesses that were closed almost immediately during Covid. We talk about the fact that out of the 12.8% population of Black people only 2.4% are actually business owners, but this isn’t about the numbers this is about real people," said Anne-Marie King. "Real lives. Real families who are impacted every day and need these services."
"Launching is the most critical phase. Beginning a small business is kind of like giving birth to a child or launching an airplane off the runway, you need to have that critical lift right at the start, care right at the beginning and the Black Business Alliance provides it," Blumenthal said. "This grant will help multiply and expand the aid it gives to small businesses needing that critical launch."
The BBA made it a point to mention that once the businesses get the money, they help them to create business plans and make sure the money is being used correctly. The location in the Connecticut Post mall is also a space where businesses can come and have meetings if need be. So it’s clear that this grant will be the start of making more meaningful change for Black-owned businesses across Connecticut.