The Black Cultural Society of PEI (BCSPEI) recently announced the recipients of the Black Business Pandemic Recovery (BBPR) Grants. The BBPR grant program was launched in August 2021 to help local Black-owned businesses in responding to operational challenges created by COVID-19. The program provides microgrants to assist in stabilizing Black-owned businesses on PEI, where their funding has been reduced, or their operational costs have increased.
“We know a lot of businesses have taken some pretty big hits since the start of the pandemic; Black-owned businesses included. It is important for us to be able to provide this support,” says BCSPEI’s Executive Director, Tamara Steele.
According to Steele, the program received twice as many applications as BCSPEI had anticipated so, unfortunately, they were not able to fund everyone who applied. “This demonstrates not only the impact that the pandemic has had on local small businesses, but also the need for supports for and within PEI’s Black business ecosystem” says Steele.
In December, the BBPR Grants application review committee selected 13 Island-based, Black-owned businesses to receive between $2500 and $5000 in microgrant funds. Recipients ranged from long-time operators who have lost income or capacity, to newer businesses that have struggled to get fully operational.
One of the recipients, Ashley Perry of Summerside-based jewelry brand, Kuko Creations, says that “this money will help revitalize my brand and allow me to expand my skill set so I can create fresh art.”
Omar Broderick of Slickphotography (Cornwall) says, “It’s a great feeling to know someone believes in you and your idea. Not only will this grant help my business offer competitive services but it will also help my community.”
The 13 recipients of the Black Business Pandemic Recovery Grants program are: Anuvo Enterprises, Kuko Creations (Summerside), Slickphotography (Cornwall), Out of Africa (Fort Augustus), A+ Auto Salon (Stratford), Beyond the BRIM Consulting, Chez Nyota, Mane Experience, MICC Financial, NASO Soccer Initiative, Signature Locs Salon, Thin Slice Media, and Wheelie Bin Doctors (Charlottetown).
BCSPEI is a not-for-profit organization whose goal is to support and advocate for the growing Black community on PEI as well as the descendants of Black Islanders. BCSPEI’s vision is to shape the future by preserving our heritage, promoting racial equity, and creating partnerships that will assist in the development and success of the Black community in PEI.
Visit bcspei.ca for more information and to view their Black Business Directory on PEI.