Minority Business Grants Program Third Year Applications Open

A grant launched at the start of the pandemic to support Black and Latina small business owners in Forsyth County will open applications in late August. Former recipients say the funding has helped their businesses survive.

Greater Winston Salem, Inc. has raised $1.3 million to launch a grant fund for minority businesses. Chief Financial Officer Nick Reed said small businesses of color in Forsyth County are experiencing significant losses during the pandemic.

“Greater Winston Salem, Inc. has established a committee, the Entrepreneurial Advisory Committee,” says Reed. “And it’s made up of African American and Latino business leaders from our region who are responsible for going through all the applications that come in and allocating the money.”

Last year, Greater Winston Salem, Inc. chose 17 recipients who received between $7,500 and $25,000.

Martin Majorel is a Latin American entrepreneur and owner of an accounting and business consulting services company, TEM LLC, and received the grant two years in a row.

“When I was looking for some form of economic help during the pandemic,” Majorel explains, “I was looking to extend the payment term for my clients. For example, I do accounting and taxes for painting companies, and they were telling me me, ‘Martin, I don’t have a job right now. I can’t pay you.’ I needed money to extend the payment term for my struggling customers.”

Majorel received $8,000 from the grant last year, which he says has helped his business grow, and the majority of Latin American companies he works with also stay afloat. Applications open August 26 and the deadline is September 26, 2022.

There will be information sessions in Spanish and English in the days leading up to the opening of the application process. The scholarships will be awarded in January 2023.

This story was produced through a partnership between WFDD and La Noticia. You can read this story in Spanish at La Noticia.

Eileen Rodriguez is a journalist for both WFDD and La Noticia via Report for America, where she covers the impact of COVID-19 in Latin American communities.

La Noticia y 88.5 WFDD journalist, Eileen Rodríguez reports on the impact of COVID-19 on the Latina community in North Carolina. Rodríguez is a member of Report for America 2021-2022 reviewers