Grants available to help minority small businesses hurt by COVID-19

Posted at 5:44 PM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 18:02:11-04

CINCINNATI — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact small businesses, hardest-hit minority business owners can apply for a grant from Collective Empowerment Group Cincinnati.

Thirty minority businesses can get $500 to $1,000. The deadline to apply has been extended to 5 p.m. Friday.

“The reason for extending the application deadline is because we received an overwhelming response,” said Paul Booth Jr., president of Collective Empowerment Group Cincinnati.

“Within two to three days we had already received close to 50 applications. That shows a significant need for what we’re doing, and this is only the beginning.”

CEG is made up of more than 25 churches and 50 banks and businesses. The group's goal is to keep minority small businesses afloat.

“Thriving businesses plus thriving churches equal a thriving city,” Booth said.

Throughout COVID-19 the group has hosted town halls, made check-in mental health calls and participated in feeding kids.

“I’ve talked to so many business owners,” Booth said. “I’m a business owner myself and found out that they were not able to receive funds from the PPP process or it was too intimidating.”

It's an issue WCPO has reported on.

$500 to help with rent or $1,000 to help with that new piece of equipment could literally be the difference between them keeping their doors open and closing their doors,” said Booth Jr.

Joshua Reid applied for a grant for his digital tech company, inphlu.

“This grant is great because it allows small businesses who are really running the industry - we make up the industry - and you need funds to be able to stay afloat, pay your staff, provide better value for your customers," Reid said. "This is going to allow you to do that.”

Small businesses can find the application online at