Small companies have struggled during the COVID-19 crisis. Black-owned businesses have been hit hardest compared to any other demographic, with more than half of Black business owners seeing their revenue cut by half, and Black business ownership dropping by 41%. Additionally, the personal care sector has also seen a 45% decrease in revenue in the last year.
In response to these trends, LISC LA, in partnership with Pacific Premiere Bank and the James Irvine Foundation, are launching the Black Business Excellence Technical Assistance (BBET) Initiative, a free accelerator program for Black-owned small businesses in the personal care industry. LISC LA is one of 31 offices of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a national nonprofit organization supporting community development in cities and rural areas throughout the country.
To qualify, businesses must:
- Have at least one business owner that identifies as Black or African American
- Be operating for at least two years
- Be in the personal care, health, wellness, or beauty sector
- Be located within LA County
- Be able to commit 5 hours per week for the 12 weeks of the program. Businesses with less than $300K in revenue are preferred, but this is not a strict requirement.
LISC LA will select a cohort of up to 30 businesses per year that will have access to the BBET program, which will include the following 5 components:
- Learning modules: Businesses will have access to 10 modules led by industry experts in the field.
- One-on-one business advising: Businesses will be paired with a Business Advisor with expertise in their industry.
- Networking opportunities: Businesses will have access to 3-5 networking opportunities with fellow peers, industry experts, and/or brand partners in their relevant industry.
- Pitch presentations: Businesses will have the opportunity to pitch to funders to compete for small grants to seed the implementation of their growth plan.
BBET is part of LISC LA's Black Economic Development Agenda, a 2021 initiative to close the racial wealth gap, support the local economies of historically Black neighborhoods, and empower Black-owned businesses in Los Angeles through LISC LA programs and resources. Small business development programs have the ability to protect business owners' livelihoods and revitalize communities.
The application portal for BBET's Fall 2021 Cohort is open through Friday, August 6.
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