“We are fooling ourselves if we think the nation can recover and heal without reimagining and rebuilding the systems and institutions the virus has revealed to be inadequate and broken.”– Angela Glover Blackwell and Michael MacAfee
COVID-19 is unprecedented. This virus has left no community, no sector, no class untouched, and yet, painfully and predictably, COVID-19 is playing out along the well-worn lines of oppression. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities are being hit the hardest in this pandemic, and there are not nearly enough resources going to support these communities.
Through the MN Disaster Relief Fund, Thrivent Foundation, and Mortenson Foundation, Nexus has been awarded $175,000 to support businesses struggling because of COVID-19. We have seen billions of dollars going to large corporations, and far fewer dollars to go support the economic anchors of BIPOC communities—small businesses and cooperatives.
It may go without saying, but we did not receive enough to fund every business and cooperative that needs it. We have chosen to strategically leverage our funding to support business that are falling through the cracks—established businesses that have BIPOC ownership or a majority BIPOC employees and are cornerstones of their community.
Specifically, Nexus COVID-19 relief grantees meet the following criteria:
- Businesses with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) owners, or that employ a majority of BIPOC employees.
- Located in our priority areas of East Side of St. Paul (primarily Dayton’s Bluff and Payne-Phalen), North Minneapolis, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, and South Minneapolis.
- Have less than 50 employees
- Have been in operation for at least a year
Grants range up to $20,000 depending on the size of the business and are for general operating expenses. Businesses can use them at their discretion. UPDATE: At this point in time, we have distributed a majority of the funding.
We have compiled a list of recovery resources for business and, through the Nexus Business Legacy Program, we are offering free consultations for business owners to learn about transitioning to employee ownership.
The Nexus Team
Please contact Benjamin Tsai at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.