January 2021

Columbus Urban League works to help Black-owned businesses amid pandemic

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — The Columbus Urban League shared it is working with Black entrepreneurs to help them secure funding as part of the second Payroll Protection Program (PPP) rollout.

The latest stimulus package infused PPP, which has essentially been dormant since August, with $284 billion for small business loans that will be fully forgivable if used for eligible expenses.

MORE: New PPP loans promise short-term relief for businesses facing long-term damage

“Many Black business owners don’t have strong relationships with their banks or any relationship at all,” explains Stephanie Hightower, President & CEO of Columbus Urban League. “We can help these companies prepare and submit the proper documentation, match them with lenders likely to respond to their requests, and then serve as their advocate throughout the process. It works. Since COVID began, we’ve connected with more than 4,000 Black enterprises and we’ve tapped into $7.6 million in funding and created or saved 1,250 jobs.”

Hightower said the services offered by Columbus Urban League extends beyond securing funds.

MORE: Columbus Urban League recognizes business making an impact on diversity

“We are taking a comprehensive approach to working with and for Black businesses,” she added. “Count on us to offer professional, thoughtful guidance on everything from earning certification as a State of Ohio vendor to finding marketing, legal, management and other professional services and developing a plan for success in a post-COVID economy. Everything we do is designed to support immediate recovery, drive systemic reform and ensure long-term resiliency.”

More details on applying for assistance through Columbus Urban League’s Minority Small Business Resiliency Initiative can be found online here, or by calling (614) 484-0940.

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