It is the objective of the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce to provide micro-grants to small businesses in the Stockton and Kern County areas as part of its outreach efforts.
The California Office of Small Business Advocate’s Dream Fund, which was established by the state legislature, presented the chamber with a grant of $1 million, which was matched by the federal government.
Doctor Little explains that the goal is to “build an atmosphere that is sufficiently resilient that it will be tough for them to fail.” However, despite the fact that the chamber provides assistance to all small businesses, they make a concentrated effort to reach out to those in economically challenged communities.
Moreover, according to Dr. Little, “from a statistical standpoint, African Americans are extraordinarily well-positioned to start new firms.” Nevertheless, he notes that “where we fall short is in terms of sustaining our operations,” and that “it all boils down to a lack of access to finance and what we call social capital.”
The Chamber of Commerce offers a variety of initiatives, such as ‘Betting Big,’ to aid in the reduction of the gender disparity. This seminar is geared specifically toward female company entrepreneurs.
A Dream Fund award will be made available to Essence Taylor, who owns Haus of Essentials, and who is one of 30 people who will be among the first to be able to apply for one when the application process opens.
According to Essence, “I am confident that the funds would help me to remodel the store and expand the inventory.”
Due to Essence’s previous work expertise in company management, she was well-positioned to share her knowledge and experience with the first Betting Big Cohort while also developing a support network for herself.
For example, according to Essence magazine, “I simply know that there are individuals who believe in me, and I’m aware of the greater picture, and I’m conscious of the fact that there is funding available to us as black company owners.”
Businesses planning to submit an application for assistance must have begun operations after July 1, 2019, in order to be considered for funding.
Participants will also be required to attend the Dream Fund Accelerator Workshop, which will take place over the course of 90 days and will be mandatory for all business owners.
During the course’s 11-week run, a video conferencing session will be held once a week over the internet.
In addition to learning how to market their companies and construct a business plan, Cassandra Little says that participants in the accelerator program will also learn how to secure financing as part of the program.
She claims that the goal is to produce tool kits that will assist small Central Valley enterprises in starting out and continue to grow for years to come in the future.
Starting on Tuesday, April 12, the first class of the 90-day Dream Fund Accelerator Workshop will begin. The workshop will run for nine weeks, beginning on Tuesday, April 12, and will conclude on Tuesday, April 12.