The New Grant Program Aims to Empower Black-owned Small Businesses Across New England through $25,000 Grants and a Direct Assistance Program
BOSTON, MA (February 18, 2021) – Vistaprint and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation announced today a combined commitment of $1 million and the launch of the Power Forward Small Business Grant in partnership with the NAACP. The new grant program aims to create a lasting impact through the economic empowerment of Black-owned small businesses across New England with grants of $25,000 to be awarded on a rolling basis.
Through this initiative, grant recipients will have opportunities to be featured on national co-branded platforms, as well as receiving design and marketing assistance customized to their specific needs to help their business grow and thrive.
"The pandemic has placed monumental strain on small businesses, and the past year has made clear our society's need to work harder for equality, equity, and opportunity for all. We are proud to partner with like-minded organizations like the NAACP and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation to help small business owners find success and achieve their dreams," said Robert Keane, Vistaprint Founder and CEO.
In November 2020, Vistaprint and the Celtics announced a multi-year partnership designed to make a lasting impact on local small businesses throughout New England. The launch of the Power Forward Small Business Grant is the first collaborative initiative within this partnership, and an extension of Boston Celtics United for Social Justice, a multi-focus commitment to addressing racial injustice and social inequities in the Greater Boston area
"A primary focus of Boston Celtics United is to make a meaningful impact through programs that support Economic Opportunity and Empowerment. The Power Forward Small Business Grant is a major step in these efforts, and we are grateful to partner with Vistaprint and the NAACP in this shared vision," said Steve Pagliuca, Celtics Managing Partner & Alternate Governor and Chairman of the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation.
This announcement marks the culmination of a thorough, strategic grant development and planning process between Vistaprint, the Boston Celtics and the NAACP focused on fostering economic opportunity and empowerment in Black-owned businesses in the region.
"The NAACP is proud to partner with Vistaprint and the Celtics to support these businesses and the communities they serve," said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. "Black-owned businesses are vital to the neighborhoods in New England and nationwide. We look forward to seeing the lasting impact and change the grants provide for our small businesses."
How to Apply
Applications for the Power Forward Small Business Grant will be administered by the NAACP in partnership with Hello Alice, a platform for small business owners to identify the right path to start and grow their company. Applications for the financial grants opened February 17, 2021, and will remain open until all funds have been dispersed. All submissions must be conducted through Hello Alice: www.helloalice.com/power-forward. The candidates selected to receive grant funding will be announced on a rolling basis.
Grants are available to new or existing Black-owned small businesses based and operating in New England* with 1-25 employees.
*Some geographic limitations apply for areas of southern Connecticut. See application eligibility requirement for details.
Vistaprint is the marketing partner to millions of small businesses around the world, empowering each one to live their dreams. For more than 20 years, we have helped small businesses look and feel credible through high-quality marketing products and solutions that include signage, logo apparel, promotional products, face masks, flyers, postcards, business cards, websites and digital marketing. With Vistaprint, small businesses are able to create and customize their marketing with easy-to-use digital tools and design-templates, or by receiving expert graphic design support. In 2020, Vistaprint acquired 99designs to expand its design offering via a worldwide community of more than 150,000 talented designers to make it easy for designers and clients to work together to create designs they love. Vistaprint is focused on making great marketing and design accessible to every small business owner, allowing them to create a cohesive brand image for use in-store, online and on-the-go. To learn more, visit: https://www.vistaprint.com Vistaprint is a Cimpress company (Nasdaq: CMPR).
About the Boston Celtics:
A charter member of the Basketball Association of America (which evolved into the National Basketball Association) since 1946, the Boston Celtics have won a record 17 NBA Championships, including eight (8) in a row from 1959-1966, winning their first title in 1957 and their most recent in 2008. The Celtics have long stood for equality, and respect, including hiring the first African American Coach and starting the first all black starting five. In addition, 35 former Celtics players, management or staff have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In December 2002 the team returned to local ownership for the first time since 1963. For more information on the Celtics, log on to www.celtics.com.
About the NAACP:
Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
The NAACP is a c4 organization (contributions are not tax-deductible), our partner c3 organization is known as NAACP Empowerment Programs (contributions are fully tax-deductible as allowed by the IRS).
In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP.
NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but separated in 1957 to become a completely separate entity. It is recognized as the nation's first civil and human rights law organization, and shares our commitment to equal rights.