Want Covid-Period Reduction Funding? Pay Consideration to the Tremendous Bowl Publish-Recreation Live performance

Unbanked and underserved small business owners across the country drive a lot at the Super Bowl on Sunday. Not the game itself, which promises offensive shooting, but the concert.

And not the halftime show with The Weeknd, but the Big Concert for Small Business after the game with Alicia Keys, Brandi Carlile, Brittany Howard, Christina Aguilera and others. Proceeds from the concert fundraiser, including an initial donation of $ 10 million from telecommunications giant Verizon, will help fund a series of small business grants of $ 10,000 from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) , a not-for-profit community development financial institution (CDFI) in New York City.

The Verizon-funded show begins at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday and can be viewed on a number of TV and streaming channels including YouTube, TikTok, CBS Sports Network, CMT, MTV2, and Verizon’s Twitter account. Viewers are encouraged to make donations to the fund. Applications for the grants will be available on the LISC website on Monday.

The grants are specifically targeted at underserved businesses, minority-run businesses, sole proprietorships, and non-bank entrepreneurs in deprived neighborhoods, said Steve Hall, senior director of small business loans at LISC. “A number of companies in underserved communities just don’t file the same tax returns, have the same income, or don’t know how to use programs like the Paycheck Protection Program,” he said. “It’s a lifestyle investment to make sure you can meet some basic needs for a month or two.”

This is especially true for black-owned companies, which, according to Ron Busby, President and CEO of Black Chambers in the United States, have been particularly hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. “In the black community, 99 percent of our companies have no employees,” says Busby. “Creating a program that protects the employee but does not address the needs of the employer is backward.”

In nod to the Paycheck Protection Program, eligible expenses for the LISC grants include rent and utilities, payroll, outstanding debt to providers, technology infrastructure upgrades, and other immediate operating costs. According to Hall, the applications also ask for demographic information such as your type of industry, disability status, minority status, and your company’s zip code, which is run through a proprietary algorithm largely supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Low Poverty Index Estimate the socio-economic level of your area.

Verizon seems like an unlikely benefactor to this cause, but this isn’t the company’s first collaboration with LISC in the Covid era. Last May, Telecommunications hosted a similar fundraiser for LISC’s small business sponsorship program, including an initial donation of $ 7.5 million. Rose Stuckey Kirk, Verizon’s chief corporate social responsibility officer, notes that the weak position of small businesses during the pandemic affects the entire economy – including telecommunications giants. The initiative is also more directly tied to Verizon, Kirk explains: Many underserved small businesses lack the tools to fully participate in the modern digital world.

“We have the opportunity to actually help these vulnerable small businesses digitize themselves and be available to as many of their customers as possible,” she says. “We believe this is in line with our overall strategy. Our goal is to ensure that a million small businesses have the technical resources they need to be successful in the digital economy by 2030.”

Based on similar grant programs, Hall expects at least 200,000 applications on the first day – a demand that could well exceed supply. Therefore, each section of the application is rated according to need levels. For example, applications from minority entrepreneurs with disabilities may rank higher than applications from non-disabled white men. Gig economy workers and community entrepreneurs – such as hairdressers or salon owners – will also do very well, according to Hall, as they give back to their communities directly on a daily basis.

The top quartile of the evaluated applications is then entered into a lottery. Hall says the winners will be reviewed before being notified, scheduled for early March.

The number of scholarships depends on the success of the fundraising campaign for the concert on Sunday. “Whatever people give will be great,” says Hall. “It’s been a very busy year. I don’t know how much people have to give, even now. We hope that people give what they can – I don’t want to set a goal.”

Hall also hopes the event can get Americans to support any local small business, regardless of socioeconomic status or ability to get a loan for the paycheck protection program. “Try to support them,” he says. “Buy something from them. Neither of them is out of the woods yet.”

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