Due to the economic devastation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have had to learn how to adapt to a new reality, leaving them uncertain about how to move forward towards profitability.
This week, Google announced that they will be investing $2.35 million across several tech startups within Atlanta, the city recognized as the next Silicon Valley for emerging Black-owned tech startups. The funds will be distributed through the Black Founders Fund to 36 Atlanta-based businesses. Through Google, the fund has been able to invest in over 70 startups across the country with $100,000 business grants totaling $5 million to help these businesses continue to grow and thrive amid the global pandemic.
“We are committed to helping Black founders who have been deeply impacted by COVID-19 and who are disproportionately locked out of access to the funding they need to succeed,” said Jewel Burks Solomon, head of Google for Startups US, in a press release according to BET.com. “By combining cash awards with Google for Startups mentorship and programming, we hope to help create a more level playing field for these founders, who are building amazing companies and making an impact on their communities.”
Atlanta-based businesses that have been named recipients include Healthy Hip Hop, Just Add Honey, Portrait Coffee, Origyn, Laine London, Jax Rideshare Rentals, Mar Dat, TruDiary, Vibe Ride, and LVNGbook.
“The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund will have a considerable impact on the growth of Portrait Coffee,” said Aaron Fender, founder of Portrait Coffee, tells Hypepotamus. “This capital and support come at a critical time, allowing us to hire more team members and purchase additional manufacturing equipment to support our growing business.”
This news comes with Google’s recent partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to provide more digital skills workshops for HBCUs around the country as part of their $175 million commitment to racial equity back in June of this year.