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How Truist Foundation Helped Black-Owned Businesses Stay Afloat During the Pandemic

With a mission to support racially diverse small businesses, Truist Foundation worked with Black Business Investment Fund on a grant program to support Black-owned businesses impacted by the pandemic.

Like many Black-owned business owners during the pandemic, Phylisa Dever, CEO of Kingdom Communications LLC, was unsure how long she would be able to retain her staff. Kingdom Communications LLC is a Black-owned business that has been providing data communications and surveillance installation services for 15 years. Due to the pandemic, operating costs were increasing, and Dever didn’t know how long she could keep making payroll.

Dever reached out to Black Business Investment Fund, Inc. (BBIF) for assistance.

Established in 1987, BBIF is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) built to foster the creation and expansion of Black businesses by providing loans, education, and training services. For Dever, it meant working with BBIF to acquire a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to support business longevity and employee retention.

“We got our Paycheck Protection Program loan through BBIF, which helped me because I’ve been able to pay my employees every week since the pandemic started and that came right at a time when I needed it most. Thanks to BBIF, I didn’t have to miss a pay date.”

According to federal data, minority-owned businesses were rejected or unable to access the first round of loans at a significantly higher rate than white owned business. Without CDFIs, these minority-owned businesses would not have been able to receive the support they needed.

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