Kinetic Business has expanded the Black Business Support Fund, allowing Black-owned businesses anywhere in the company’s footprint to take advantage of this grant, which offers a cash award, free internet and a free business consultation. The fund seeks to increase the number and stability of Black-owned businesses located within the communities Kinetic Business serves.
Since its launch in late 2020, businesses selected for the Black Business Support Fund have received a total of $300,000 in cash awards.
“When we started the fund, the pandemic was having a disproportionate effect on Black-owned businesses across the country, so the grants were just keeping the doors open for our neighbors’ businesses,” said Lorenzo Clark, vice president of digital sales for Kinetic and president of the Windstream Black Professional Network Committee. “Now that things have stabilized, these grants are helping businesses that often don’t have good access to capital to grow.”
According to a 2010 Department of Commerce report, “[Minority owned businesses] experience higher loan denial probabilities and pay higher interest rates than white-owned businesses even after controlling for differences in credit-worthiness, and other factors.”
Additionally, a 2020 McKinsey & Company report found improving the viability of Black-owned businesses improves the overall economy: “Healthy Black-owned businesses could be a critical component for closing the United States’ Black–white wealth gap, which we project will cost the economy $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion (in 2018 dollars) per year by 2028.”
Clark added, “It’s extremely gratifying to not only support other businesses in our service area, but also be the kind of partner that lifts up the entire community so everyone can thrive and pursue their dreams.”
Small-business grant recipients will receive $2,500 in cash and a year of free internet for their business. The selected businesses will also get a free consultation from Kinetic Business on processes and products that could improve efficiencies and make their business more profitable.
To be eligible for a Black Business Support Fund grant, a business must:
- Be a new or current small business in a market that Kinetic serves, receiving broadband Internet from Kinetic;
- Be Black-owned and have 25 or fewer employees;
- Not be currently engaged in bankruptcy proceedings;
- Not be a nonprofit organization, liquor store, check-cashing agency, gun shop, pawn shop or adult entertainment business, and
- Not apply for multiple businesses.
Kinetic Business will now accept applications for the awarding of grants to eligible businesses in the 18 states where its fiber-backed network provides premium broadband and managed solutions that make companies more efficient and profitable such as OfficeSuite UC® and SD-WAN.
Funds are awarded on a first come, first served basis. Applicants should check Black Business Support Fund website for full terms and conditions and application process.
Kinetic Business’ mission is to deliver a network that works as fast as business does through high-speed connection, collaboration, continuity and cybersecurity solutions. To learn more, visit: KineticBusiness.com.