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Rockefeller Foundation to give capital, training to Baltimore small businesses of color hurt by COVID-19

The Rockefeller Foundation recently added Baltimore to a list of 12 locations that will receive capital, training and counseling for small businesses of color affected by COVID-19, according to a news release from Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott’s office.

The foundation started its Rockefeller Opportunity Collective in June, part of an effort that will provide $12 million in funding to 12 municipalities, including Baltimore, Chicago, Oakland, Boston, Atlanta and Miami-Dade County, among other areas.

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“Baltimore’s small businesses are truly the heart of our city,” Scott said in the release. “This opportunity is another step in the right direction to ensure that our businesses are developed and operated through a lens of equity, ensuring economic growth and equal opportunity for all in Baltimore City.”

The collective is hoping to “catalyze public and private sector investment to promote more inclusive growth,” in the pandemic recovery and beyond, the release states.

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Black-owned businesses have been twice as likely to close compared to all businesses “at the onset of the pandemic,” according to the foundation.

“The time to act is right now to address the inequities made worse by this virus and build a more equitable, sustainable future for our working families,” said Dr. Rajiv Shah, the foundation’s president, in the release from the foundation.

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