The Greater Jamaica Development Corp. and Wells Fargo community relations team have launched a business grant for minority entrepreneurs from Eastern Queens to Southeast Queens to Far Rockaway who were left out of or struggled to receive Covid-19 funding from the government to maintain their businesses.
The Entrepreneurs of Color Bounce Back Grant Program will give up to $2,500 to business owners who apply at tinyurl.com/wells GJDC, according to GJDC. It will remain open until funds are no longer available.
“It is going to take years for businesses in Jamaica and Southern Queens to fully recover from the effects of the pandemic, and it’s great to have this additional program as we continue our efforts to support local entrepreneurs be successful,” Justin Rodgers, interim president of the GJDC said in a statement. “I look forward to seeing the grants put to good use and would like to thank all the organizations who made this opportunity possible.”
The opportunity was made possible by Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund and received additional support from Verizon and JFK International Air Terminal LLC, the private operator of Terminal 4., and Con Edison.
“Many entrepreneurs and small business owners have been struggling due to the pandemic and Wells Fargo, through our Open for Business Fund, has been partnering with organizations such as the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation for the purpose of providing much needed relief,” Catherine Domenech, vice president for New York Community Relations at Wells Fargo, said in a statement. “We hope these grants will help with some of the expenses needed to keep the business up and running during these tough times.”
JFKIAT is supporting the grant through its corporate giving program 4GOOD.
“In order for local establishments to rebuild and thrive they need access to resources that will enable growth, especially following the impacts of the pandemic,” Roel Huinink, president and CEO of JFKIAT said in a statement. “We are proud to assist the [Black, Indigenous, People of Color] businesses through the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation’s efforts.”
The business must be for-profit; 51 percent of ownership must be BIPOC; it must have 10 or fewer employees; be located in ZIP codes that start with 114 or 116; and must have been in operation before Dec. 31, 2020, according to the application. Entrepreneurs must verify business activity, their firm’s location and prove that they did not receive any significant grant awards from government programs. People with questions may go to calendly.com/jambizserv to schedule a time to speak with a representative of the GJDC.
Ineligible businesses include nonprofits, churches or other religious institutions, government-owned entities or elected officials’ offices, businesses primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities, landlords and passive real estate businesses and illegal businesses or enterprises, according to the application. Businesses that received funds in excess of $150,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program, awards of $10,000 from the Small Business Administration Restaurant Revitalization Grant Program, awards of $10,000 from the Queens Storefront Grant Program and $10,000 from the NYS Recovery Grant Program will be disqualified.
“Verizon supports local organizations that move the world forward, especially as Covid-19 continues to significantly impact small businesses and communities of color,” Kassandra Perez-Desir, regional director of government affairs for Verizon, said in a statement. “To foster an inclusive and prosperous future for everyone, we’re thrilled to support the Entrepreneurs of Color Bounce Back Grant Program, which will provide important resources to develop small-business initiatives and relationships at the heart of the Queens community.”