Hennessy announces additional $1M investment in Unfinished Business, an initiative introduced in June 2020 to help Black, Asian and Latinx owned small businesses with the financial and educational resources to power through challenges of COVID-19. Unfinished Business was established as a long-term small business program in response to the pandemic, with a goal of bolstering an equitable recovery for those of culturally diverse backgrounds. Hennessy’s second phase of funding continues this mission, with applications opening at UnfinishedBusiness.US starting Tuesday, November 17th.
“Unfinished Business reflects our commitment and allyship to polycultural communities nationwide,” said Giles Woodyer, senior vice president, Hennessy US. “Response to the program has been tremendous and we are honored to continue supporting the resiliency of these pillars of community, during the converging health, social and economic crises, and beyond.”
Earlier this year, Hennessy’s first round of grant funding was met with overwhelming response and the initial contribution of more than $3 million was distributed to over 1,250 small businesses hit hardest by recent economic upheaval. Most grant recipients stated that the funding was used to help pay for operating expenses to keep businesses running, payroll, technology upgrades, PPE, utilities and more. Nearly eight months into the Covid-19 pandemic, small businesses nationwide remain in danger of closing for good if they do not receive financial assistance, underscoring the urgent need for additional capital.
Partners Help Drive Replenishment
Hennessy remains committed to serving these communities well into the future and brand partners are stepping in to support. To sustain momentum, a coordinated effort among partners and ambassadors – including hip-hop legend Nas – has helped deliver on the initiative’s promise to replenish the small business fund.
“Putting money back into the community is important especially during these times to help small businesses continue to survive,” said hip-hop legend Nas. “Pushing forward is hard to do without resources like Unfinished Business, which is why I’m proud to contribute where I can to ensure small businesses continue to flourish.”
Built for Community, By Community
Unfinished Business partners One Hundred Black Men, the Asian American Business Development Center, and the Hispanic Federation remain at the forefront of grant and resource distribution at the community-level. In addition to capital, these organizations also help to provide businesses with access to information, educational content, and other assets to safeguard business continuity.
“We appreciate Hennessy’s generosity and understanding that these mom-and-pop businesses are at the heart of our communities,” said AABDC President, John Wang. “We hope this is the start of more recognition among global corporations that Asian American small businesses must be supported to fully address inequalities within our society.”
“During the current health, economic and civil rights crises in our country, we are proud to partner with Hennessy to provide ongoing financial relief to small Black businesses throughout the nation,” said Michael J. Garner, Chairman, Corporate Board, One Hundred Black Men of New York City. “Earlier this year, we provided grants to businesses in 370+ U.S. cities, towns and villages, across 36 states. We are happy to support this vision during such turbulent times and even more thrilled to distribute a second round of grants before the holidays.”
“Latino-owned businesses are the backbone of our community – our bodegas, retails shops and other establishments are the fabric of our neighborhoods. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a disproportionate impact on our community, our small businesses are even more vulnerable,” said Frankie Miranda, President of Hispanic Federation. “Thanks to Hennessy, we were able to provide crucial grants to 200+ small businesses and gave them an opportunity to keep their doors open and continue to serve their neighborhoods. But our work is far from over.”
Hennessy has also pledged an additional $700,000 to Another Round, Another Rally’s Relief Fund for People of Color, a program providing $500 grants to diverse bartenders and hospitality workers. According to the trade body, BIPOC communities are largely responsible for the creation of the U.S. hospitality industry and are the primary force behind keeping it operational. Eligible applicants may learn more by visiting anotherroundanotherrally.org.
To learn more about Hennessy’s Unfinished Business grant criteria or access educational resources, please visit UnfinishedBusiness.US