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Ford and National Urban League Launch $600,000 Initiative to Help Black Small Business Owners Hardest Hit By COVID-19

  • New pilot program seeks to provide immediate access to capital for Black business owners disproportionately affected by COVID-19

  • Program recipients to gain access to pre- and post-grant counseling to ensure the survival and growth of the Black business community

  • National Urban League affiliates in six cities — Los Angeles, Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta, Chicago, and New York—will participate in the program

DETROIT, July 14, 2020 — Ford Motor Company and its philanthropic arm, Ford Motor Company Fund, are joining with the National Urban League to provide $600,000 in grants to Black business owners negatively afflicted by COVID-19.

Urban League logo atop Ford Fund logo

The Emergency Capital Access Program (ECAP) will provide small grants, combined with technical assistance and advisory services, to Black business owners through National Urban League affiliates in Los Angeles, Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta, Chicago and New York.

Each city will receive $100,000, enabling National Urban League affiliates to provide crucial economic support to businesses providing a stabilizing influence for communities hard hit by the pandemic.

"Small businesses are a cornerstone of the African American community and play a vital role in their economic success," said Pamela Alexander, director of Community Development, Ford Motor Company Fund. "The impact of the COVID pandemic has created economic uncertainty that necessitates immediate action. Our long-term partnership with the National Urban League allows us to quickly mobilize an initiative such as the Emergency Capital Access Program to get immediate assistance to those businesses in need."

The ECAP initiative will be managed by local Urban League officials in each of the six cities. Here's how the program will work:

  • The Urban League Entrepreneurship Center, along with other partner agencies, will recruit qualified businesses as possible grant recipients;
  • Qualified applicants will be awarded grants of $2,000 - $5,000 for the remainder of 2020.
  • Qualified applicants must participate in pre-grant counseling services to access short-term needs.
  • Funding priority will be given to "person-to-person" businesses heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and those located in Census tracts with greater than 25% Black residency.

For additional program details, contact your local Urban League affiliate.

"Access to capital is one of the biggest hurdles Black-owned businesses face, and the pandemic has only widened the racial disparity," National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. "Far-sighted and enlightened partners like Ford are essential to rebuilding an economy that is both fair and thriving. We're extremely grateful for Ford's support."

The Ford Motor Company Fund continues to support communities during this challenging time. For more information on programs that support the African American community, go to http://fgb.life.

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About Ford Motor Company Fund

As the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, Ford Fund's mission is to strengthen communities and help make people's lives better. Working with dealers and nonprofit partners in more than 60 countries, Ford Fund provides access to opportunities and resources that help people reach their full potential. Since 1949, Ford Fund has invested more than $2 billion in programs that support education, promote safe driving, enrich community life and encourage employee volunteering. For more information, visit www.fordfund.org or join us at @FordFund on Facebook and Twitter.

About The National Urban League

The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 90 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit www.nul.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague.

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