LISC Western New York & General Motors collaborate to accelerate growth of region’s Black businesses
√ ‘Scale Up WNY’ grant program to support 13 Black-owned and -led businesses
Looking to ensure that Black-owned and -led businesses can become trailblazers in Western New York’s economy, community development nonprofit LISC WNY and General Motors are working together to provide $15,000 and $10,000 grants to more than a dozen under-capitalized Black businesses to help them scale their capital to grow their operations and position themselves as leaders in the region’s in-demand industries.
Coined the “Scale Up WNY” grant program, the initiative, now in its second year, is designed to address inequity facing Black-owned businesses that have historically lacked access to the capital networks needed to scale their operations and expand capacity. Scale Up WNY – which is supported by funding from General Motors and will be administered by LISC WNY – will provide grants of $10,000 and $15,000 to a group of 13 Black-owned and -led businesses in Western New York who operate in industries where projected demand for services outweighs current supply – allowing these businesses to emerge as key drivers of the region’s economy.
“There is currently pent-up demand for services in several industries in Western New York, and consumers, businesses, contractors, and nonprofit organizations need that demand to be met. If we’re to make progress toward closing the racial wealth gap, then it’s critical that Black-owned businesses are given the resources, tools and networks needed to fill the gaps that exist in the local economy,” said Tyra Johnson Hux, operations director of LISC WNY. “We’re proud to collaborate with General Motors once again to help accelerate the growth of the region’s Black businesses to ensure they have a leadership role in the economy of the future.”
A press release stated, “Studies have found that a business owner’s personal or family savings are the most commonly relied-upon sources for startup capital. Yet, Black households in the City of Buffalo experience a 37% poverty rate compared to 21% for the White population in 2018, according to the Census American Community Survey – putting Black-owned businesses at a significant disadvantage when it comes to scaling and growing their operations.”
“General Motors is thrilled to work with LISC WNY to help Black-owned businesses in Western New York build resilience and create inclusive, sustainable solutions to reach their goals,” said Terry Rhadigan, vice president of corporate giving at GM. “We also want to extend our congratulations to the 13 local businesses that have received grants this year. We know they will continue to make a tremendous, lasting impact on the community.”
“Scale Up WNY’s” awards total $150,000 in grant dollars. Funding will be used on expenses such as upgrading equipment, gaining insurance for bidding on large projects, hiring of subcontractors, hiring of support staff, and retaining and expanding jobs.
More information about current and past grantees, can be found online at www.lisc.org/wny.
Learn more about LISC WNY at www.lisc.org/wny.
General Motors can be found at https://www.gm.com.