Heartland Black Chamber’s New ENCORE Initiative to Help Shuttered Small Businesses

Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce has launched HBCC ENCORE, a new initiative focused on strategically helping Black businesses and Black entrepreneurs reopen, reestablish or recover revenue loss due to the economic effects of COVID-19.

“Black-owned businesses made up 2% of the U.S. marketplace, yet according to a Stanford University analysis of the latest census data, over 40% of all black businesses in the U.S. closed their doors for good and many for reasons that existed before COVID-19,” says Kim Randolph, president of the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce. “Due to the lack of financial resources to recover, such as bank savings, access to a line of credit, or the ability to borrow from family and friends, Black business owners and entrepreneurs disproportionately face significant hurdles in recovering and reopening their business.”

HBCC Encore’s primary goals include helping participating Black-owned micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses and Black entrepreneurs chart a path to increasing their annual revenue by at least 12% and focused coaching on improvement and efficiency at their core line of business.

Applications for the program are open until Oct. 30. The cohort will run from November 2020 to May 2021.

To qualify you must:

1. Be a Black business owner who has closed the business due to COVID-19, residing or operating in Kansas or Missouri within the Kansas City metro area.

2. Have a business that operated in one of three business models: e-commerce business, brick-and-mortar business or another type of microenterprise, like home health or a subcontractor, etc.

3. Either be a micro-sized business (one to three employees; annual revenue between $35,000 and $150,000) or a medium-sized business (no more than 25 employees; annual revenue between $150,000 and $500,000).

“Just as in mainstream society, small businesses and entrepreneurs have been longtime wealth builders in the Black community,” Randolph says. “This initiative can help business rebirth and sustainability which will positively impact and support various aspects of the Black community; households, families, neighborhoods, churches, etc. This is how a community attracts amenities and community investors who provide a variety of services and opportunities for residents; banking, retail, housing, jobs and entertainment — all things that build economic strength.”

On top of this program, HBCC is compiling a list of minority restaurants that are providing curbside and delivery services and making them available to the public. If you are providing this service, please contact the Heartland Black Chamber.

For more information on HBCC Encore and to apply, visit the site.

Looking for more help for your business?

If you’re looking for other opportunities for your business, check out the Business Resources page to help your business move forward with all the challenges 2020 has brought. Remember that we here at KCSourceLink are only a call or click away whenever your business needs help moving forward.

Or maybe you’re looking for the next (or first) steps for your business (or business idea). Just call us at 816-235-6500, tell us what your need here or set up a virtual one-on-one meeting, and we’ll craft your Personal Action Plan—that’s your customized set of next steps your business and the real, helpful folks at over 240 nonprofits in the KC metro (like the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce) who can help.

And don’t forget to explore the KCSourceLink calendar, the metro’s most comprehensive business calendar for hundreds of virtual events to help you with marketing, business finances, pivoting and much, much more.

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