Getting Back2Business: grants for minority-owned businesses

Editorial Team

3 min read
Brooklyn Tea owners

With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis still having detrimental effects on many small businesses, we are actively working on ways to help. Together with our parent company, Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), a leading global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions, we debuted our Back2Business program in Brooklyn this summer, and are expanding to select communities across the country. The program is particularly focused on helping minority-owned businesses, which have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic as well as by systemic inequity and other issues they were already facing.

The Back2Business program is a multi-tiered initiative meant to strengthen small businesses in African American and other targeted communities by providing help through financial support, business expertise, technology solutions, strategic partnerships, and community engagement. Fiserv has pledged $10 million in small business grant support, as well as complimentary mentorship, subject matter expertise, and business coaching with its associates through Employee Resource Groups. The program will also help small businesses connect to lenders, create relationships with community financial institutions, and set up capabilities like contactless payments.

The Back2Business campaign, which kicked off in Brooklyn, New York on August 13, has already awarded grants to three local Black-owned businesses:

  • Brooklyn Tea, a coffee, tea, and retail establishment that serves natural, healthy, and energizing products. Brooklyn Tea is co-owned by Jamila McGill and Alfonso Wright. 
  • Brown Butter, a cozy café owned by Myriam Nicolas which provides delicious craft specialty drinks and food to the Bed-Stuy neighborhood. 
  • Kola Ologundudu and Rodney Davis’ Daddy Greens Pizza, which serves both classic and specialty Italian fare like pasta, sandwiches, and of course pizzas. 

These businesses have used their grant funding to weather the challenges of the times we’re in, doing things like retaining staff who might otherwise have been laid off, reorganizing physical operations to keep their employees safe, and upgrading website and online ordering capabilities.

With the success of this first round of grants, we are now looking to expand the program to include not only additional New York City boroughs, but additional cities across the country, such as Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, and Oakland. The expansion will roll out in the next few weeks and months in order to help ensure that minority-owned small businesses across the country can successfully weather the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In these trying times, partnership and support are ever more important. It is the responsibility of larger corporations to get involved on the ground with the small businesses in their local communities—a collaboration that’s especially significant for minority-owned small businesses and the communities that they serve. A thriving and diverse community translates into an overall healthier national economy, and the intention behind the Fiserv Back2Business campaign is to contribute to an economy that helps all businesses thrive. By working together, we can utilize the increasingly intertwined relationship between larger corporations and small local businesses to create a more vibrant and equitable business landscape for the nation. 

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