District Bridges Selected for $50,000 Award to Invest in Contract Workers, Small Business Owners of Color Hardest Hit by COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 26, 2021

(Washington, DC) — District Bridges will receive $50,000 in funding to assist minority entrepreneurs and 1099 workers as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant, awarded by Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest integrated, nonprofit health system and NALCAB – the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, will also provide technical assistance and training as part of District Bridges’ work to provide culturally relevant support to low-wealth entrepreneurs and 1099 contract workers of color. 

“One thing 2020 starkly revealed is the inequity of access that so many small business owners of color face. That is why funding opportunities like the Kaiser Permanente grant are so valuable and important. With this grant, District Bridges will be able to continue to support our Spanish-speaking small and micro businesses close the digital divide so that they are able to market themselves to old and new customers and contribute to the cultural fabric that makes our neighborhoods to vibrant.” 

Through a competitive process, organizations in California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Washington, DC were eligible to apply for grants up to $60,000 administered by NALCAB. The grants will support resiliency among entrepreneurs, including adapting their business model more effectively to the constraints of public health guidance, and assistance in navigating and accessing federal, state and local government, as well as philanthropic, emergency relief and business assistance resources.

Through its commitment to foster economic opportunity for traditionally underserved communities, Kaiser Permanente has also designated $15 million in grants to increase access to formal training, business networks, and recovery and growth capital to help businesses led by Latinos and other groups to overcome systemic economic disadvantage.

 “With the understanding that a return to ‘business as usual’ is still far off, it is urgent that the small businesses and entrepreneurs of color who have suffered disproportionate financial setbacks during the pandemic receive aid and assistance to maintain their vitality,” said Stephanie Ledesma, interim senior vice president for community health programs at Kaiser Permanente.

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ABOUT DISTRICT BRIDGES

Dedicated to supporting small businesses and investing in community, District Bridges is a solutions-driven nonprofit organization specializing in socially impactful, holistic community development and economic growth. As the first multi-Main Street organization in the nation, District Bridges developed a model that makes launching and managing Main Street programs a turnkey operation. Our strategic approach to community development considers the holistic needs of the city and creates solutions in collaboration with residents, businesses, and government agencies. We understand that every community has its own priorities, so we work side-by-side with neighborhoods to identify critical needs and leverage each community’s unique skills and assets. Through our consulting practice we bring deep, functional expertise, but are known for our holistic approach to urban development that strengthens existing communities. We recognize the value in economic hubs, focusing on both individual businesses and stakeholders as well as the overall prosperity of the broader community. 

Learn more: www.DistrictBridges.org

ABOUT NALCAB  

NALCAB – National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders – is the hub of a national network of more than 130 mission-driven organizations in 40 states, DC and Puerto Rico that that serve ethnically diverse Latino communities across the US. Members of the NALCAB Network invest in their communities by building affordable housing, addressing gentrification, supporting small business growth, and providing financial counseling on issues such as credit building and home ownership. Our mission is to strengthen the economy by advancing economic mobility in Latino communities. The NALCAB Network serves hundreds of thousands of low and moderate-income people, the vast majority of whom are immigrants or the children of immigrants.  

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