The San Diego Foundation announced Wednesday that it awarded a $500,000 grant to the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce to expand economic opportunities for Black entrepreneurs.
The San Diego Foundation will award a $300,000 grant from its Black Community Investment Fund and a $200,000 grant from the Board of Governors.
“Even before the pandemic, Black-owned businesses experienced disproportionate denials from financial institutions and access to resources and tools to build sustainable businesses,” said Donna DeBerry, President and CEO of the Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce. “We collected data and insights from local Black entrepreneurs regarding their needs to startup, reopen, rebuild and thrive. The results of this data provided the Chamber an opportunity to create a model innovative program called the Urban Business Resource Center, dedicated to develop, support, sustain and scale businesses at all different levels.”
The Urban Business Resource Center will provide a collaborative hub for Black-owned businesses and Black entrepreneurs through a support network, educational workshops and other resources.
The San Diego Foundation said the center will also host regular office hours and other activities that will increase Black entrepreneurs’ access to tools to grow their businesses, from mentorship to access to capital.
“The pandemic has had inequitable outcomes for many, including the Black community in San Diego,” said Pamela Gray Payton, Chief Impact and Partnerships Officer for The San Diego Foundation. “By supporting the Center, we will foster equity of opportunity by increasing access to resources, so San Diego Black business owners and Black families build generational wealth and transform their futures.”