$50,000 in grants awarded to 10 minority-owned Charlottesville businesses
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - $50,000 in grants is being awarded to 10 minority-owned businesses in the Charlottesville area. Each company is being given $5,000 to spend however it wants.
“Being an entrepreneur, an African American woman entrepreneur, to receive this grant, it means a lot,” said Sarde Williams, who started ‘Sisters Who Care’ with her partner Bianca Johnson.
She started out on her own after working for a company in Charlottesville.
“I had a patient ask me, ‘When will you come home and help them?” and ever since then, I’ve been working on it on the side. In 2020 I decided to make a business out of it,” Williams said. “We offer 24 hour in home personal care services to adults and seniors who want to maintain their safety, independence and quality of life in the comfort of their home.”
The grant winning entrepreneurs were selected from a pool of submissions.
“There was a review team that consisted of United Way staff and Minority Business Alliance members that reviewed all of the fifty plus applications to ensure that those that were moved forward were eligible based on the criteria,” said Barbara Hutchinson with United Way of Greater Charlottesville.
Part of that criteria included having fewer than fifty employees, being in business for more than one year, and being minority-owned.
“It was a tough decision based on the number of applications, but one in which we feel good that each of those businesses were deserving of the money and will make good use of the funds either towards achieving financial stability, adding to their inventory or cost of goods sold, adding to their payroll, or purchasing equipment that might make them more successful,” Hutchinson said.
Sisters Who Care plans to use part of the grant for marketing and another part for putting money toward a wheelchair van.
“It’ll help Sisters Who Care build employment for my fellow man, and it’ll also help build generational wealth instead of debt for our children while doing what we love to do, which is caring,” Williams said.
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