Announcing the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Small Business Growth & Recovery Fund Grant Recipients
Learn more about the Small Business Grant Recipients
Today, Equivico by NCRC and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation announced 65 recipients across the U.S. of the SNF Small Business Growth & Recovery Fund’s inaugural grant program. The program awarded $1.3 million to these U.S. small businesses that have been disproportionately affected not only by the pandemic but also by the chronic gap in access to capital. Each recipient received a grant of $20,000 that does not need to be repaid.
Four thousand small businesses, 72% of which are owned by people of color and over half of whom are owned by women, applied to the grant program. Each shared the story of their business, the impact of COVID-19 on their business, and a project plan to stimulate growth for the business and its local community. These businesses ranged from farms to small construction companies hiring and training low-skilled individuals to hair salons and daycare programs. Most saw severe decreases in revenue due to the pandemic and shared stories of resiliency and innovation.
As part of the grant program, Equivico by NCRC will work to build lasting relationships with recipients, serve as a long-term resource, and, in partnership with iQ4, provide virtual skills training, applied learning and mentorship from subject-matter experts.
OK FARMS, HILO, HAWAII
Who: A minority business owned by the Keolanui family
What: A 1,000 acre farm producing locally grown fruit, coffee, macadamia nuts, spices and cacao (chocolate).
Pandemic impact: OK Farms’ revenue relied primarily on tourism prior to the pandemic and was heavily impacted by global lockdowns and travel restrictions. To combat the crisis, OK Farms mobilized to address a three-fold community need: A shortage of food supply on the island, crops going to waste, and decrease in revenues.
Grant enabled pivot: Purchase a cargo van for the newly-created CSA box program that supports multiple farms—as the economy opens up and production and distribution costs increase. Drive new revenue for local farmers, provide food supply for residents, and new opportunities for economic sustainability and food consumption on the island.
HOT + COOL CAFÉ, CANOGA PARK, CA
Who: A minority-owned and family-operated coffee shop owned by Tony Jolly and Tina Amin.
What: A certified social enterprise vegan restaurant and community refrigerator primarily serving seniors, and promoting and ensuring access to healthy food and solving health disparities and food inequities in the community.
Pandemic impact: Employs local, low-income and primarily Black residents in the community, and supports returning citizens with job training; all faced scarce access to employment in the pandemic.
Grant enabled pivot: Use the funds to build a kitchen. Seek SNAP certification to reduce the cost of meals for the local community. Increase skills training and pathways to employment and a productive life for at-risk populations.
SAVKON, COLUMBUS, OHIO
Who: A minority, veteran, woman, and disability-owned commercial and residential renovation company, owned by Sheryl Marrero.
What: Renovation services including acoustic ceilings, demolition, drywall, flooring and framing.
Pandemic impact: Decline in demand for SavKon’s services by general contractors, federal agencies, and private clients due to health and safety precautions and budget cuts.
Grant enabled pivot: Expand capabilities to include renovation services for insurance carriers. Hire and train employees to develop expanded skills that align with expanded capabilities.
FUN DA MENTALS, RICHMOND TX
Who: A woman and minority-owned educational service, owned by Dr. Malika Martin.
What: An educational service provider committed to helping schools, students, and their surrounding communities achieve excellence.
Pandemic impact: Access to education became significantly more difficult for young people living in traditionally underserved communities.
Grant enabled pivot: Purchase an additional Mobile Learning Lab Bus and outfit it as a miniature classroom to offer free classes in mathematics, reading, writing, and basic computer skills to children in low-income underserved areas.
AMBROSIA EVENTS LLC, MILLWAUKEE, WI
Who: A veteran, minority, and disability-owned business owned by Oscar Sanchez.
What: An event planning, management and production company.
Pandemic impact: Most large events were canceled or postponed, and social distancing measures prevented events from happening at full capacity from 2020 and 2021.
Grant enabled pivot: Offer alternate services to customers such as virtual consultations and discounts. Hire and train employees and improve the company’s branding and online presence.