Black Philadelphia business owners seek access to loans and grants as pandemic progresses



The African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ & DE announced Wednesday it has launched its first cohort of business owners and CEO mentors, as part of its “BuildingBackBlack” initiative. In response, local chambers of commerce are launching initiatives to match investors with small business owners in need of funds.

To fill this gap, business owners and coaches will help applicants prepare arguments for investors, banks, and other lenders. The AACC “Coaching to Capital” is a one-year, one-on-one business consulting, classroom education, and mentor-coach program to help apply for business funding.

“Our members were unbanked during the round of PPP loans,” AACC President Regina Hairston said at the conference, and lost those Small Business Administration loans and grants as a result.

Other cohorts of the Coaching to Capital program are expected. Applicants must have two years of business history and tax filing, generate at least $ 250,000 in gross annual income, and have a business office in the City of Philadelphia. For more information, call the Chamber at (215) 751-9501 or email: [email protected]

The AACC is also currently a partner of Community College of Philadelphia’s Power Up Your Business program, in which entrepreneurs develop a business plan to identify ways to grow. Over a nine-month period, participants work with mentor-coaches to position business owners to raise funds.

“Any small business in the neighborhood can participate in this CCP program for free, get mentorship, write your books, navigate the bureaucracy, [and] get the right permits, ”said City Council member Cherelle Parker. The Power Up program also powers the Goldman Sachs 10,000 small business accelerator program, she said.

The African American House hosted its “BuildingBackBlack” panel and conference on Wednesday and highlighted the barriers and solutions that exist for black business owners.

He estimates the country lost 41% – or 450,000 – black-owned businesses in 2020 between February and April. It is not known how many were in the greater Philadelphia area.

“We want the $ 66 billion in pledges made last year” to be held accountable to the African American business community by nonprofits and American businesses, said Ron Busby, CEO of the US Black Chambers, Inc. in Washington, DC

In addition, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce launched the CEO Access Network this summer, which connects business leaders with small business owners from under-represented populations in business. The deadline to apply is Friday September 10th.

The House is now accepting applications from leaders of small businesses belonging to people with disabilities, LGBTQ, minorities, veterans and women to participate in this year’s cohort. For more information, visit the Chamber’s website:

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