From restaurants to child care and clothing stores, minority-owned businesses make up less than 25% of businesses in Cincinnati and less than 4% are Black-owned.
Following two years of the pandemic, many of them need a lifeline.
“If it wasn’t for the grants, I would have had to close one of my locations,” said owner and CEO of Water Lily Learning Centers Garri Davis.
Davis says one of her biggest stressors from the pandemic was not having enough staff.
“It was a day-by-day, week-by-week process to determine what the rules were they were changing regularly,” Davis said.
Tuesday, she was front and center as local leaders from The Urban League, The African-American Chamber and Mortar announced more help is here.
“These dollars are about support and relief cause not all our businesses are out of the woods yet. Some are still struggling, but there is opportunity,” said Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Initiative, Inc. Executive Director Willie Hill.
Through the Lincoln and Gilbert Fund, three tiers of grants are open to small, medium and large minority-owned businesses based on revenue.
There are three award grant tiers: $2,500, $5,000, and $15,000. Each level has business revenue minimums.
To be eligible for any of the grant offerings your MBE must have generated at least the minimum revenue in 2021 for the tier you are applying for this period. BONUS: The $5,000 grant applicants with revenues of $100,000 or more, will be eligible for an additional $5,000.