As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact businesses across San Diego County, including small, minority-owned businesses, AT&T California said Tuesday it has contributed $50,000 to the ABASD COVID-19 Outreach & Technical Assistance Services and Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Advocacy and Education Outreach programs.
The ABASD aims to provide assistance to small business owners who are struggling to handle language, economic and cultural barriers on top of dealing with a global pandemic.
The ABASD currently represents more than 30,000 Asian Pacific Islander-owned businesses. As the group's website states, the ABASD's focus is on providing "advocacy, technical assistance, mentorship and access to capital to help grow our small business community."
And, according to Jeni Burgess, Board Chair for ABASD, this grant is going help the organization continue to do just that.
“The API community is coming together to help support our most vulnerable small businesses, many of which have suffered the effects of xenophobia and racism directed towards Asian Americans," Burgess said in a press release. "AT&T’s contributions will enable us to have a greater impact in our community by giving API owned small businesses no-cost technical assistance and additional support."
ABASD also expanded its Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to include the Strategic Alliance, which consists of the Asian Business Association, Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce and the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
This new program, dubbed the “Alliance SBDC,” conducts outreach to businesses who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 to assist in applying for the county’s small business stimulus grant as well as the city’s temporary outdoor business operation permit.
“We know that by supporting ABASD we are supporting economic empowerment while fighting racial injustice,” said Christine Moore, Director-External Affairs, AT&T California, in a press release.
At the national level, AT&T is dedicating $10 million to economic opportunity in underserved communities and communities of color.
NBC 7 reached out to the ABASD to find out what the money will be used for and what kind of businesses would benefit from the grant.