Sacramento, Calif.– As local businesses continue to fight to provide services for their neighborhoods, Republic FC and Suncrest Bank have partnered with the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce to create a grant program to provide support to small businesses facing economic challenges. The Republic FC Kickstart program will award a $5,000 grand prize grant, as well as a $2,500 and three $1,000 grants to black-owned small businesses in the greater Sacramento Region. Fans are encouraged to nominate businesses at SacRepublicFC.com/suncrestbank beginning on August 21, World Entrepreneurs Day.
“The heartbeat of Sacramento’s economy are the makers, creators, and diverse small businesses that embody the Indomitable spirit of this region,” said Republic FC President Ben Gumpert. “The impacts of the pandemic are far-reaching, and with our partners at Suncrest Bank and the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce, we can come together with our fans to highlight a few of the many amazing businesses that are dedicated to their customers and their employees, even in the most trying of times. “
“We are delighted to partner with Republic FC and the Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce on this important initiative to support small businesses that may have experienced significant hardship over the past few months. At Suncrest Bank, we live by our mission of investing in people and showing commitment to our local communities,” explained Ciaran McMullan, CEO and President of Suncrest Bank. “The Sacramento region is fortunate to be home to such a diverse and vibrant small business community and we must seek ways to strengthen and support these businesses so that we can continue to see local economic recovery and greater financial inclusion.”
“We’re proud to support Sacramento Republic FC and Suncrest Bank to lift up the businesses that help communities around the region prosper,” said Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Azizza Davis Goines. “By banding together and highlighting Black businesses – especially when we’ve been hit so hard by the challenges of COVID-19, we’re making our region stronger and a place where everyone can thrive.”
In working with Suncrest Bank, the Republic FC Kickstart program celebrates the small business for their enduring role as cornerstones of strong local communities, while recognizing that not all businesses receive the resources they need to prosper. Suncrest Bank is committed to local recovery efforts and ensuring that all businesses have access to an equal playing field. Through the Sacramento Region alone, over 1,500 businesses have reported a permanent or temporary closure. The New York Federal Reserve found that economic shutdowns meant to limit the virus' spread have an outsized effect on Black business owners, leading to 41% of Black-owned businesses across the country shut down between February and April. Report authors found that nationally only about 17% of white businesses shut down during the same period.
Nominations for businesses will close on September 11, and voting will open the following week on Republic FC social channels and at SacRepublicFC.com/suncrestbank. As part of the National Black Business Month celebration throughout August, Suncrest Bank will provide free educational services and consulting resources for each business nominated for Republic FC Kickstart. Republic FC will announce a non-profit program to support organizations that invest in social justice, racial equality, family investment, and youth development. Not only are two-thirds of Black businesses located in regions with the highest levels of COVID-19 cases, less access to capital– including federal PPP loans– and funding gaps that existed prior to the pandemic are creating higher hurdles for struggling businesses.
The top five businesses as selected by the club’s fans will have one final opportunity to make their case for the $5,000 grant. The five finalists will create a sixty-second pitch video, as well as present to the final judging panel including a representative from Suncrest Bank and Republic FC, as well as Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Azizza Davis Goines, Media host Big Al Sams, and Savvy Consulting Founder Jovan Agee.
For additional information about Republic FC Kickstart, visit SacRepublicFC.com/suncrestbank.
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