Four New Black and Hispanic Owned Businesses Receive the Elevate Together Grant Through Partnership With ULPBC

The Urban League of Palm Beach County (ULPBC) recently hosted the Elevate Together grant application process to help support Black and Hispanic small businesses and watch them grow and prosper. A panel of ULPBC judges reviewed each application and video presentation, and four new minority owned businesses, located in Palm Beach County, with owners 40 and under received $5,000 – $10,000 in grant funds, toward their businesses. 

Elevate Together is powered by Round It UP America, a non-profit initiative designed to address systematic discrimination and historical disparities in business growth and profitability in Black and Hispanic communities. 

Through a partnership with the National Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Centers and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the initiative helps support Black and Hispanic small businesses with five or less employees.  The ODP Corporations (parent company of Office and CompuCom) is the initiatives founding partner. 

The Elevate Together small business winners are: 

– Sage Cleaning Service LLC, owned by Diana Gozalez-Hicks

– Lavie Scrubs LLC, owned by Ruchama Jean Baptiste

– CURE Cocktails and Events, owned by Rochelle Satchell

– Holistic Learning Academy, owned by Cathy Hall

Congratulations to our 40 and under, 2021 grant winners!

Diana Gonzalez-Hicks

Diana Gonzalez-Hicks

Sage Cleaning Services, LLC

Ruchama Jean Baptiste

Ruchama Jean Baptiste

Lavie Scrubs, LLC

Rochelle Satchell

Rochelle Satchell

CURE Cocktails and Events

Cathy Hall

Cathy Hall

Holistic Learning Academy

One of the most impactful ways we can help eliminate systematic racial discrimination, disparities, and promote equality is to support entrepreneurship among people of color in achieving sustainable growth and profitability. By removing historical barriers to small business and job growth, the full potential of our communities can be realized.

“We strongly believe that in a society where the playing field is level, Black and Hispanic small businesses will play a vital role in restoring the health of our economy and in driving long-term wealth creation across North America,” said Gerry Smith, CEO of the ODP Corporation. 

According to an April 15, 2021 article in Forbes Magazine, Black- and Latino-owned businesses were less than half as likely as white-owned firms to be fully approved for loan applications over the past year, the Federal Reserve reported. That was the case even when the Black, Latino and white applicants were all categorized as low credit risk, the central bank found in its 2021 Report on Firms Owned by People of Color.

The U.S. Census Bureau released new estimates on the characteristics of employer businesses on January 28, 2021. 

According to the 2019 Annual Business Survey (ABS), covering reference year 2018, approximately 18.3% (1 million) of all U.S. businesses were minority-owned and about 19.9% (1.1 million) of all businesses were owned by women. The number of Hispanic-owned businesses had a growth of about 3.0% from 2017. 

In 2018, Hispanic-owned businesses made up about 5.8% (331,625) of all businesses, with an estimated $455.6 billion in annual receipts, approximately 3.0 million employees. Blacks or African-Americans owned businesses, approximately 124,551 of them, made up about 28.5% (35,547) of businesses in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector, the highest percentage of any minority group.

Elevate Together provides support to Black and Hispanic businesses through Education (small business mentoring, workshops and trainings), Access (exposure to new customers and broader business networks), and Aid (cash grants, in-kind products and services).  In addition, the Urban League of Palm Bech County Entrepreneurship programs provide business coaching and mentoring through free, small business solution workshops.  Topics include: create a business plan, and conduct market and competitive research, tax planning and, book-keeping. Individualized training sessions are also offered on financial and business management, and loan facilitation.

Our nation faces a significant and growing gap between the wealth of whites and that of African Americans and other minorities.  

In addition to the fact that large segments of the US lack savings or wealth to draw upon to weather financial shocks or to invest in the future, this fact poses a growing challenge in a nation that is increasingly ethnically and racially diverse. Business ownership is a route to wealth creation, a particularly important and valued route in a capitalist economy. As such, it is important to understand the role that it plays in wealth creation for Black people and other minorities to identify and pursue strategies for addressing the challenges facing entrepreneurs of color.  

Former President Barack Obama once said: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” So true.