The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has awarded grants totaling $43,000 to five area chambers of commerce to support programs and services offered to minority-owned businesses.

The grants come from Community Foundation’s Build Back – Dream Forward Fund, designed to help the region recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through financial support from the Build Back-Dream Forward Fund, the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce will be able to implement programming and administer its Build Thriving Returns Now (BTRNow) initiative.  

“Our goal is to facilitate the economic empowerment of black-owned businesses in Northern Virginia and the success and development of the region,” said Sheila Dixon, executive director of the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce. “Together, I believe we can set a new foundation for a robust economy now and for our next generation of business leaders in Northern Virginia.”  

Cindy Shao, president of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce, said her organization appreciates the grant. "It will help us implement programs on helping Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Owned Businesses access the resources they need to rebound from unexpected challenges and have focused support in addressing business re-opening, critical funding, contracting, and operational needs in the unique circumstances resulting from COVID-19."

The organizations receiving grants are as follows:

Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce - $10,000

This grant will support BTRNow, Build Thriving Returns Now, the accelerator program that strives to decrease the wealth income gap of black businesses in Northern Virginia. BTRNow provides the infrastructure to help businesses scale and be competitive in the marketplace and exposes them to the ecosystems of Google and other partners to help gain potential clients for continued growth.

Asian American Chamber of Commerce - $10,000

Funding will support AACC’s continued focus on helping Asian American-owned businesses access the resources they need to rebound from unexpected challenges. Specifically, this grant will fund a program series to ensure that Asian and minority-owned businesses have support in addressing business re-opening, critical funding, contracting, and operational needs in the unique circumstances resulting from COVID-19.

Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce - $10,000

Support from the funding will help to sustain trusted bilingual business programs and expand virtual offerings to support the rapidly growing Hispanic entrepreneurial community in Northern Virginia. Programs provide bilingual educational workshops and webinars, networking opportunities between small business owners and entrepreneurs, and mentoring.

NOVA Hispanic Chamber of Commerce - $6,500

This grant will support the Entrepreneurs Bootcamp Revenue Accelerator. The program consists of 20 hours of core training divided into three modules, plus an additional 48 to 60 hours, delivered in four to six hours of monthly technical assistance with team building activities prepared for business owners to thrive despite the COVID-19 crisis.

Virginia Asian American Chamber of Commerce - $6,500

This grant will enable the Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce NOVA Office to expand capacity to support their existing work serving immigrant entrepreneurs with assistance needs ranging from basic start-up support to advanced level business development that will, in turn, help spark maximum economic activity and community vitality. 

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