There’s no denying that prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the minority wealth gaps in the United States were a problem on a federal, state, and local economy level. In a word, it was difficult if not impossible for a minority-owned business to find the necessary capital to get up and running.
Says the experts at Tell-Shop, a brand new national platform that promotes minority-owned enterprises, businesses, and shops run by minorities suffered the most as the result of the Covid pandemic lockdown. The COVID-19 health crisis further stressed Black-owned businesses and caused the racial wealth gap to widen.
Enter legal marijuana. According to a new report, medical marijuana provider Revolutionary Clinics, recently announced that it will be establishing a $4 million grant fund to be evenly distributed between Economic Empowerment (EE) cannabis license holders along with other minority-owned businesses such as restaurants, service providers, and more.
Said to be a part of Rev Clinic’s Aspire program, the fund was established to support and grow marijuana retail outlets by providing expertise and financial benefits to Economic Empowerment and Social Equity license holders. Thus far the Aspire program has helped several minority-owned businesses and marijuana shops located in Massachusetts where the medicinal plant has been legalized. But it’s likely funding programs like Aspire are likely to sprout in communities all over the country.
Says a Rev Clinic’s press release, the Aspire expansion is a direct result of the findings of a nationwide study of cannabis equity programs by The Initiative. The study found that financial funding and support services are the most sought-after forms of support to get EE cannabis businesses open. By expanding the Aspire program beyond marijuana, Rev is attempting to foster a more representative business-oriented community.
Over the course of the next few weeks, the first pair of $100,000 grants are said to be slated for distribution to two cannabis entrepreneurs who are located in Harvard Square in Cambridge. More grants are to be distributed in September of 2021.
“My mission is to not only open the first 100 percent local, black-owned marijuana retail store in Harvard Square,” said grant recipient and co-owner of Yamba Boutique marijuana store, Leah Samura, “but also to help other women of color find their place in the industry. This grant will help me accomplish that mission. I am very grateful for Revolutionary Clinics for their support.”
The press release further states that apart from the legal marijuana industry, the substantial grants will also be distributed to these particular minority-owned businesses: existing or new eateries, existing and new service providers and helpers, new or established non-profits, and/or incubators that place their focus on minority business startups, those looking for financial assistance to open