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Minority business grants available

Central Virginia’s minority-owned businesses have a shot at getting a share of $50,000 in grant funding from a partnership between the United Way of Greater Charlottesville and the Minority Business Alliance (MBA) of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce.

It will be third time the partnership has awarded 10 grants totaling $50,000 since the inaugural funding in 2020. Businesses in Charlottesville and Albemarle, Greene, Orange, Louisa and Fluvanna counties are eligible.

“This set of grants is the amazing fruition of a continued and beautiful partnership between United Way and the Chamber Minority Business Alliance that continues to provide new access to capital for minority entrepreneurs,” said MBA Treasurer Alex Urpí, founder of Emergent Financial Services.

“With these funds, they will be able to continue growing their small businesses, providing local employment, creating generational wealth, and sustaining the diverse economy and community of the Greater Charlottesville area,” Urpí said.

The United Way is now accepting applications through July 1 for the Minority Enterprise Grant Opportunity funding.

The money may be used for equipment acquisition, inventory, and operating expenses including business promotion.

“We know that gaps in access to capital still exist and hinder minority businesses from scaling,” said Ravi Respeto, president of the local United Way. “A more diverse business community benefits everyone, and we’re proud to be working with committed and diligent partners in continuing to reduce barriers to success.”

Business owners can visit to learn more.

In order to be eligible, a business must be at least 51% owned by one or more minority individuals such as African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, or Native American. Businesses must be in the region, in operation for at least a year, have net income less than $100,000 and no more than 50 employees.

To receive a grant, applicants must either be current members or join the alliance.

Each grant recipient will attend an orientation with the alliance committee to help understand the grant requirements.


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