Beyond Open grant announces 178 grantees in first round

Beyond Open grant announces 178 grantees in first round

Foundation For The Carolinas officially completed the first round of grant funding for Beyond Open, a $20 million effort to support “diverse-owned” small businesses in Charlotte. 

In total, Beyond Open will distribute $5.9 million to first-round grantees, with packages ranging from $5,000 to upwards of $250,000. Of the 3,200 businesses that applied for funding, 178 received awards. Organizers said the number of first-round applications far exceeded expectations.

Data released by the foundation show that 90% of first-round grant recipients identify as people of color, 72% are located near or within the city’s “corridors of opportunity,” 60% identify as women, 13% as LGBTQ, and 8% as veterans. 

One recipient, Gemini Boyd of the Black-led nonprofit organization Project Bolt, said the funds will help secure a workspace for his organization. “Without a location, you can’t connect to the community,” he said. 

Project Bolt offers youth mentoring, life skills training and second-chance programming for people post-incarceration.

Round two of the grant cycle will be announced by mid-2023, with a third round announced in 2024. 

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