A grant launched at the beginning of the pandemic to support Black and Latinx small business owners in Forsyth County will open applications at the end of August. Past recipients say the funding has helped their businesses survive.
Greater Winston Salem, Inc. raised $1.3 million to launch a Minority Business Enterprise grant fund. Chief Financial Officer Nick Reed says small businesses of color in Forsyth County were suffering major losses during the pandemic.
"Greater Winston Salem, Inc. created a committee, the Entrepreneurial Advisory Committee," explains Reed. "And it's made up of African American and Latin business leaders in our region that are responsible for wading through all the applications that come in and awarding the money."
This past year, Greater Winston Salem, Inc. chose 17 recipients that received anywhere from $7,500 to $25,000.
Martin Majorel is a Latino entrepreneur and owner of an accounting and business consulting service company, TEM LLC, and has received the grant two years in a row.
"When I was looking for some type of economic help during the pandemic," explains Majorel, "I was looking to extend the deadline for payment for my clients. For example, I do the accounting and taxes of painting companies, and they would tell me, 'Martin I don't have work right now. I can't pay you.' I needed the money to extend their payment's deadline for my clients who were struggling."
Majorel received $8,000 from the grant this past year, which he says has helped his business grow, and the majority Latino businesses he works with stay afloat as well. Applications open up on August 26, and the deadline is September 26, 2022.
There will be Spanish and English information sessions in the days before the application process opens up. The grants will be awarded January 2023.
This story was produced by a partnership between WFDD and La Noticia. You can read this story in Spanish at La Noticia.
Eileen Rodriguez is a reporter for both WFDD and La Noticia through Report for America, where she covers COVID-19's impact in the Latino Communities.
Periodista de La Noticia y 88.5 WFDD, Eileen Rodríguez reporta el impacto de COVID-19 en la comunidad Latina en Carolina del Norte. Rodríguez es miembro del cuerpo de periodistas de Report for America 2021-2022