National Grid Launches $500,000 Small Business Impact Initiative to Empower Diverse Businesses Across Massachusetts
WALTHAM, MA – Today, National Grid announced the launch of a three-year, $500,000 Small Business Impact Initiative in partnership with Amplify LatinX, The Asian Business Empowerment Council, the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
Through this new initiative, National Grid will partner with these leading organizations to provide a total of 50 $10,000 capacity building grants over the next three years to help minority-owned small businesses across the Commonwealth grow, thrive, and contribute to the economic opportunity and vibrancy of our communities. In its first year, the initiative aims to support 16 small businesses selected by the partner organizations.
This partnership furthers National Grid’s commitment under our newly launched “Grid for Good” program to enable economic opportunity, especially for historically underrepresented communities. The company recognizes the immense value minority-owned businesses bring to our local communities as well as the challenges these businesses often face in accessing capital needed to expand, create jobs, and generate growth. Through this partnership, grantees will not only receive funding but also resources and support from the partnering business organizations to realize their goals.
To apply, interested businesses must be affiliated with at least one of the partner organizations. The grants must be used to support the growth of operational capacity – such as purchasing equipment, leasing office space, or improving efficiencies among others. Each partner organization will select four grantees to receive funding.
"The strength of our communities is directly linked to the success of our local businesses,” said Melissa Lavinson, Head of Corporate Affairs, New England at National Grid. "We recognize that small businesses are the economic engine of the 242 towns and cities we are privileged to serve across the Commonwealth. We know we have a responsibility to work with our communities to be a partner for progress and believe that joining forces with our partner business organizations to help grow the capacity of local, diverse businesses will have a transformative impact.”
“At Amplify LatinX we are thrilled to partner with our sister organizations and with National Grid to support the transformation of 16 MBEs across the Commonwealth this year. We look forward to our continued collaboration with the goal of moving forward our region’s economy,” said Eneida Román, President & CEO of Amplify LatinX.
"This collaboration represents a powerful commitment to our community's growth and resilience,” said Q.J. Shi, Director of the Asian Business Empowerment Council at The Boston Foundation. “These grants will serve as a vital lifeline for many, supporting their entrepreneurial dreams and nurturing economic prosperity.”
“Access to capital remains the primary business challenge for Black entrepreneurs,” said Nicole Obi, President and CEO at the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts. “This multi-year opportunity supports the operational capacity of our member firms and holds the potential to create a profound impact, not just within these enterprises but also within the very communities they call home. We are grateful for the shared commitment of our fellow community-serving partners and this partnership with National Grid.”
"LGBTQ+ businesses are an important part of our Commonwealth's economy, but far too often don't have access to the same resources and capital. This capacity building grant from our partners at National Grid will help small businesses grow to new levels, which is not just good for their businesses, but also for our communities,” said Grace Moreno, Executive Director, Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
This impact initiative is part of National Grid’s newly launched “Grid for Good” program, a larger companywide corporate responsibility and impact initiative that supports the communities we serve. Through Grid for Good, National Grid will contribute at least $4 million in funding to organizations that align with its three responsibility and impact pillars -- (1) workforce development and STEM education, (2) economic opportunity and social justice, and (3) environmental stewardship and sustainability -- and have a focus on historically underrepresented and overburdened communities.
The application deadline is October 31st. The 16 grantees will be celebrated at an event on November 14th. For more information about the grant application and eligibility criteria, please click here.
About Amplify LatinX
Amplify LatinX is a 501c3 nonprofit, non-partisan collaborative convener that is advancing a new era of Latinx prosperity by expanding Latinx leadership across sectors, galvanizing legislative and public support, and championing continual economic mobility.
About The Asian Business Empowerment Council
The Asian Business Empowerment Council (ABEC) serves as a platform to coordinate and unify a vibrant community of entrepreneurs, service providers, and advocates to build a strong collective voice for the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) business community across Massachusetts. ABEC supports AAPI businesses to overcome historic inequities in access to capital and contracting opportunities to increase pathways to economic growth and success. ABEC is a new venture that is being incubated by the Asian Community Fund with generous seed funding from the Eastern Bank Foundation and the Boston Foundation.
About the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA)
The Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA) is a member-based nonprofit organization that builds Black wealth across Massachusetts by supporting and empowering Black-owned businesses and removing barriers to opportunity and prosperity for the Black community. Founded in 2015, BECMA focuses on four pillars to building and sustaining Black wealth: entrepreneurship, placement, commerce, and ownership. Through advocacy, programming, and strategic partnerships, BECMA drives economic equity and prosperity for Massachusetts to achieve inclusive growth that enables Black-owned businesses and Black communities to thrive. For more information, visit www.becma.org.
About the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce
The Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce cultivates inclusive relationships between LGBT-owned businesses and the corporate sector to drive economic impact throughout the Commonwealth. To learn more, visit malgbtcc.org.
About National Grid
National Grid (NYSE: NGG) is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people through our networks in New York and Massachusetts. National Grid is focused on building a smarter, stronger, cleaner energy future — transforming our networks with more reliable and resilient energy solutions to meet state climate goals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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