Applications are set to open for round two of Beyond Open, a $20 million grant program for “diverse-owned” small businesses in Charlotte.
At today’s kickoff ceremony, guests heard from local business owners who received awards and how the funds have impacted their businesses.
Kristin Stewart, who owns Urban Sweets, an ice cream shop in South End, said the grant to purchase a cargo van for ice cream carts and supplies.
“The grant does more than give you money,” Stewart said. “It gives you confidence. Confidence that your community believes in you and wants you to succeed.”
During its first round, Foundation For The Carolinas awarded $5.9 million to 178 business owners, 76% of whom were Black, according to data shared by the organization. More than 3200 businesses applied in round one.
The competitive grant program is expected to award $5 million in grants to more than 3200 businesses during the upcoming round.
Beyond Open grants will be awarded from $10,000 – $150,000 and can be used for “capital assets” like technology, equipment and real estate.