(March 15, 2021 by Delaware State Chamber of Commerce) - Barclays is a Philanthropy Delaware member. New “Stand By Me Minority Small Business” program will expand economic opportunities and increase access to capital for Delaware minority-owned small businesses
Barclays US Consumer Bank today announced its financial investment of $1 million to the United Way of Delaware (UWDE), in partnership with the State of Delaware, to launch the Stand By Me Minority Small Business program, which will provide free financial coaching and business support services aimed at increasing market share and revenue for up to 50 Delaware minority-owned small businesses in underserved communities.
The Stand By Me Minority Small Business program is a part of Barclays’ Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) plan and will also include financial grants for eligible participants, ranging from $3,000 - $9,000, whose businesses have met program milestones within the year-long engagement. Eligible Delaware minority small business owners can learn more about the program and apply starting March 15, 2021, until May 15, 2021, or until 50 program applications have been accepted, by visiting standbymede.org.
“Minority-owned small businesses, especially Black and Latinx business owners, face many financial challenges, which have been exposed and accelerated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Adam Ahmad, Community Reinvestment Act Officer, Barclays US Consumer Bank. “The Stand By Me Minority Small Business program is built on a proven model that offers minority small business owners not just a written plan and free training, but an experienced coach who will help the business owner put that plan into action. Through Barclays’ CRA plan, we strive to change the landscape and close the wealth gap amongst our minority population by giving back to the communities where we live, work and serve.”
During the year-long program, participants will collaborate with a financial coach to identify and resolve business challenges and provide equitable access to educational resources and financial support. Working with the financial coach, participants will then agree to measurable goals and timelines for improving their operations and strengthening financial performance. Among other skills, participants will sharpen their business management practices, learn how to grow market share and improve their opportunities to access capital. Funding may also be available to participants to address unforeseen business needs during their participation in the program.
“Supporting minority-owned small businesses in Delaware will help create good-paying jobs and strengthen our economy,” said Delaware Gov. John Carney. “We are pleased to see this commitment from Barclays and this partnership with the United Way of Delaware to address the important challenges faced by many minority-owned businesses. These new resources will help eliminate systemic barriers to capital so that entrepreneurs can grow and thrive here in Delaware.”
“The pandemic has dealt a huge blow to Delaware’s small and minority-owned businesses, and that’s why we are working to find smart, efficient ways to support them and new entrepreneurs who may need help navigating the sometimes-unpredictable business landscape,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper. “I’m grateful to Barclays for joining this effort with the experienced folks at Stand By Me to connect minority-owned small businesses with local experts and grants to help them get through this pandemic and thrive.”
“Black and minority-owned businesses in Delaware have significant potential to create jobs, improve incomes, and build a stronger and more stable economy,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Coons. “Delaware’s economy and families are stronger when new entrepreneurs get the support needed to grow and realize their potential. I am optimistic this additional support from Barclays will help minority-owned businesses grow and help increase the pipeline of future small businesses as they go through initiatives like the United Way of Delaware’s Minority Small Business program, and the West End Neighborhood House’s Launcher Program, which address systemic inequities in access to entrepreneurship. Investing in small businesses is always a good idea for Delaware’s economy, and this additional support will combat the racial wealth gap providing equity to communities that need it the most.”
The Stand By Me Minority Small Business program leverages 10 years of experience helping to move thousands of Delawareans from financial instability to financial empowerment. With more than 80% of Delaware minority-owned small businesses having less than 20 employees, the proven Stand By Me coaching model from UWDE has been modified to include specific business management, market development and capital access tools for small businesses.
“On top of the normal challenges of starting or growing a small business, minority business owners face many barriers that make achieving success all the more difficult, said Michelle A. Taylor, president and CEO, UWDE. “This new Stand By Me Minority Small Business program is built on 10 years of success and is designed specifically to help minority business owners overcome these challenges. But our goal is bigger than helping individual business owners achieve success; we want to build a cohort of successful minority small business owners across the community, and encourage these business owners to inspire others in their communities to do the same.”