In Partnership With
NAACP and Leslie's Certification Boost Grant is intended to assist entrepreneurs in obtaining vital business certifications, which are important to facilitate networking, business connections, and draw partnership opportunities with larger corporations and organizations. Certifications and official designations include Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women Business Enterprise (WBE), and Disability-Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE), among others.
Under this program, $5,000 grants will be awarded to deserving entrepreneurs to support small businesses in rural and urban communities across five states and companies led by people of color, women, and people with disabilities, or businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones), focusing on businesses in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, and Texas — state communities Leslie's serves and where the retailer has a strong store and operational presence.
"We are thrilled to partner with the NAACP in support of diverse small businesses and their entrepreneurial leaders, as well as propel the NextGen Leadership program supporting young adults seeking to become the civil rights leaders of tomorrow."
- Brad Gazaway, Chief Legal, Real Estate, & Sustainability Officer, Leslie's
What Will You Get?
This program will award 17 one-time grants of $5,000 each.
- Recipients may use awarded funds for costs related to completion of state and/or federal applications for certification, including but not limited to, legal/consulting fees.
- Recipients may not use awarded funds for: personal use or loans; debt consolidation; marketing and/or sales; payroll; or fixed assets.
To be eligible to receive this grant, your small business must:
- Be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are African-American or otherwise persons of color; or
- Be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women; or
- Be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more persons with a disability; or
- Have its principal office in a HUBZone (as that term is defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration as of July 1, 2023), have at least 35% of its employees living in a HUBZone, and be: (i) at least 51% owned and controlled by African-American U.S. citizens or otherwise U.S. citizens of color, (ii) a Community Development Corporation whose ownership and control is at least 51% African-American or otherwise persons of color, (iii) an agricultural cooperative whose ownership and control is at least 51% African-American or otherwise persons of color, (iv) an Alaska Native corporation, (v) a Native Hawaiian organization, or (vi) an Indian tribe; and
- Operate in the consulting and/or food services industries; and
- Be headquartered in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, or Texas.