Little Jamaica Black Business Emergency Recovery Grant

In honour of Black History Month, BBPA launches Little Jamaica Black Business Emergency Recovery Grant (BBERG) to help Black businesses survive.
Toronto, February 1, 2021 – As Black History Month begins Feb. 1, the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) has launched the Black Business Emergency Relief Grant (BBERG) to support small Black businesses in the Eglinton West ‘Little Jamaica’ community. The funding will provide some immediate relief to Black businesses during the second COVID-19 lock down stage. The Little Jamaica small business district has been particularly hard hit due to the Pandemic and the LRT construction. The BBPA will provide funding of $150,000, from which grants of $3,000, $5,000 and $10,000 will be made available to qualified Black businesses in need of relief, in the Little Jamaica district.
“The Little Jamaica area is a Toronto treasure,” said BBPA Treasurer Michael Pinnock. “Until the LRT construction limited traffic and COVID-19 hit, it was a place where people came from all over to dine and shop and be entertained – not just from the GTA but also tourists seeking authentic Caribbean culture. It’s sad that this area was badly disadvantaged.” This BBPA program is anticipated to provide much needed relief.
The Black Business Emergency Relief Grant is open to all Black businesses registered in the BBPA’s Little Jamaica initiative. Black businesses requiring relief will apply directly to the BBPA, which will work to disperse BBERG funds according to their needs. The relief program will begin immediately, as the need is so dire.
BBPA’s President Nadine Spencer is encouraging corporate Canada and others to support this initiative as part of honouring Black History Month and enable the survival of Black businesses where are severely impacted. “I recognize this is just a start,” Spencer said. “The need in Little Jamaica is urgent and we are soliciting assistance from all. While the support from the City of Toronto has been encouraging and fundamental, we acknowledge that there is still a long way to recovery ahead of us. The goal is to raise at least $500,000 during Black History Month to help the businesses survive during the lockdown period.”
The BBPA’s Black Business Emergency Relief Grant program is a component of its Business Advisory Implementation Development Services program (BAIDS), which was established as part of the Black business COVID -19 sustainability and recovery strategy. In addition to financial services, BAIDS addresses systemic anti-black racism and provides business solutions to access capital and strategic development designed to mitigate hindrances impacting Black businesses. BAIDS caters to small-and medium-scale businesses, sole proprietors, partnerships, family-owned and franchises. BAIDS demonstrates BBPA’s commitment to providing service to Canada’s Black business community.
For more information visit www.bbpa.org/berg
The application process will run until February 27th, 11;59pm EST.
For interviews or questions, contact:
Nadine Spencer, President
Black Business & Professional Association
e. president@bbpa.org p. 416 708 0521
Michael Pinnock, Treasurer
Black Business & Professional Association
e. treasurer@bbpa.org p. 416 436 2139