Is there a local shop you love to visit? Has takeout from your favorite sandwich place become a weekly ritual?
After more than eight months of economic hardship, many of our neighborhood small businesses are struggling to stay afloat. Thousands have already closed their doors, with New Majority owners facing disproportionate impacts. Just 12% of Black and Latino business owners were approved for Small Business Administration aid, and early estimates project that more than 40% of Black-owned businesses will shutter due to COVID-19. Calls for additional relief from our state and federal governments have so far gone unheard.
FOUND, an initiative from the Wurwand Foundation, is one of the organizations helping fill the gaps by connecting entrepreneurs with the capital, mentorship, incubators, and other resources they need to survive right now. Launching FOUND/LA with a focus on neighborhood businesses throughout Greater Los Angeles, the initiative is now expanding across California and beyond.
“We focus on supporting the invisible entrepreneurs in local communities that are often overlooked,” says Jane Wurwand, co-founder of Dermalogica and Wurwand Foundation. “The ones that don’t receive — and would never plan to receive — venture capital funding. The local businesses run by women, by immigrants, by minorities, and who are often left out of traditional banking and education systems. The entrepreneurs who have given their blood, sweat, and tears to their businesses for days and nights on end are working really hard to provide for their families. As the pandemic is increasingly forcing small businesses to shut their doors, it is now more important than ever to support the local entrepreneurs that turn our neighborhoods into the places we love and want to live in.”
That’s why Hello Alice is proud to partner with FOUND to help sustain these local entrepreneurs with the funding and resources they need to turn the corner. Thanks to a generous contribution from FOUND, Hello Alice will be able to deploy additional Business for All grants to neighborhood businesses across the nation and support these owners as they figure out next steps.
“Who you were and what you did before COVID will likely not be who you are and what you do now,” says Celia Ward-Wallace, owner of South LA Cafe and one of the Hello Alice COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grant recipients. “There is no going back, only going forward and adapting to the needs of the people now. Those who evolve will survive.”
Working together, we can’t wait to see what that Main Street evolution looks like.
The FOUND initiative is joining forces with Hello Alice to reach local entrepreneurs and to build back our neighborhood businesses and communities. Click here to learn more about the #BusinessForAll mission.