FUNDING AWARDED TO TWENTY DIVERSE SMALL BUSINESSES IN COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY COVID-19
Lawyers for Civil Rights and Tufts Health Plan Program Providing Support to Minority and Women-Owned Small Businesses Across Massachusetts
Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) and Tufts Health Plan announced today that twenty small businesses have been awarded $1,000 grants to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), technology allowing their employees to work safely remotely, and other health and wellness-related supports to help with their reopening.
“We are thrilled to be able to support these inspiring small businesses with much needed funds to purchase PPE for their reopening,” said Priya Lane, Director of LCR | BizGrow. “We applaud Tufts Health Plan for their foresight and leadership in supporting small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis.”
This diverse group of small businesses hail from across the Commonwealth and are incredibly diverse: 65 percent are female owned; 45 percent are Black-owned; 40 percent are Latinx-owned; 15 percent are Asian-owned; and five percent are LGBTQ-owned. Funding for this initiative was provided by Tufts Health Plan, known for its commitment to providing innovative, high-quality health care coverage across a person’s lifespan, regardless of age or circumstance.
“These small businesses are the economic engines fueling the growth of our Commonwealth,” said Rebecca Rosen, director, business diversity at Tufts Health Plan. “Minority and women-owned businesses have been amongst the hardest hit by the pandemic. We are happy to be able to help, at least in some small way, and contribute to their recovery.”
A list of the inspiring small businesses appears below.
Barros Market is a Black-owned convenience store located in the heart of Chelsea, one of the cities in Massachusetts most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The market continues to serve the community even during the ongoing health crisis. They will use the PPE funding to purchase plexiglass, disinfectant, sanitizer, and masks.
Boston Cleaning Collective emerged from the grassroots meetings of immigrant women in Revere exploring ways to support one another and to expand economic opportunities. Everyone at Boston Cleaning Collective is a member-owner who participates in business decisions, learns new skills, pays themselves fair wages, and shares in profits. They will use the PPE funding to buy PPE and masks for staff and customers to maximize safety.
Delilah & Linda’s Unisex Beauty Salon is a Black woman-owned beauty salon. It serves a wide array of clients in Dorchester and is known for having friendly and caring stylists. They will use the PPE funding to purchase a washer and dryer to assist them in sanitizing soiled towels, client capes, and stylist smocks.
Elegancia Barber Shop is a Latinx-owned barber shop in Somerville that has received many positive reviews for its affordable haircuts and stylists that work well with children. They will use the PPE funding to install divisions and to purchase antibacterial materials, disposable capes, and thermometers. Learn more on their Facebook.
FireCode Design is a Black woman-owned business that performs inspection and testing of fire protection systems in Boston. The business provides cost-effective fire protection solutions. They will use the funding to purchase PPE so they can continue conducting crucial safety inspections in homes. Learn more on their website, Facebook, and the Bay State Banner.
First Class Salon & Blowdry Bar is Latinx-owned beauty salon in East Boston specializing in hair, makeup, and bridal services. They are known for forming lasting relationships with clients. They will use the PPE funding to purchase sanitizing equipment, masks, and disposable capes. Learn more on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.
Full Service Laundry is an Asian-owned laundromat located in Chelsea. They are currently open and serving customers. They will use the PPE funding to buy face masks, disposable gloves, and sanitizer for employees and customers.
International Halal Market is a Black-owned halal butcher and grocery store in Roxbury that sells a variety of Middle Eastern and North African staples. Referred by LCR | BizGrow community partner ACEDONE, the business is known for producing meat that is fresh, affordable, and 100% halal. They will use the PPE funding to purchase sanitizer, masks, and plexiglass.
New Chapter Home Improvement is a Black woman-owned business in Cambridge providing full-service home improvement and specializing in interior and exterior painting. During the pandemic, they have remained available to assist customers with emergency maintenance. They will use the funding to purchase PPE supplies. Learn more on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.
Oasis Restaurant is a Black-owned business in Dorchester known for its delicious Caribbean cuisine, particularly oxtail. The restaurant serves the community hundreds of meals every Sunday. They will use the PPE funding to buy a protection shield to safeguard customers and employees along with sanitation products.
Sweet Teez Bakery is a Black woman-owned bakery in Dorchester specializing in hand crafted baked goods made from high quality, nut-free ingredients. Working out of LCR | BizGrow community partner CommonwealthKitchen, the business has produced thousands of cakes, cupcakes, brownies and pies for customers, including individual, corporate, and wholesale accounts such as Whole Foods, Santander Bank and Babson College. They will use the funding to purchase new packaging for mail shipping and to purchase PPE. Learn more on their website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bay State Banner and CityLine.
Tawakal Halal Cafe is a Black-owned restaurant in East Boston that incorporates traditional East African and Middle Eastern dishes, as well as Mediterranean cuisine. The family-run restaurant has been a mainstay of the community, and has generated significant media attention for its delicious food and homey atmosphere. They will use the PPE funding to purchase sanitizing equipment and masks. The restaurant has been featured in the Boston Globe here and here, Bon Appetit, and Eater Boston. Learn more on their Facebook.
Tijuana Mexican Food is a Latinx-owned family restaurant in Chelsea. Serving authentic Mexican and Salvadoran cuisine to its patrons, they are known for their delicious food and drinks. They will use the funding to purchase PPE and disinfectant to keep their employees and customers safe. Learn more on their website and Facebook.
The Creative and You-nique is a Latina-owned business in Worcester making t-shirts as well as prints. In response to the public health crisis and subsequent PPE shortage in the community, the business shifted its operations to produce customized fabric masks. They will use their PPE funding to purchase mask-making materials and sanitizing equipment. Learn more on their Facebook.
Voltage Fashion Boutique is a Latina-owned retail store serving the Main South neighborhood of Worcester. They frequently give back to their community by donating food, holding events to support youth, and helping other local businesses. They will use their PPE funding to purchase masks, a hand sanitizer dispenser, and other sanitizing equipment. Learn more on their website and Facebook.
Diana Organizes is a Latina-owned business in Haverhill helping people and companies to improve their organizational systems and processes to improve productivity and enhance quality of life. In response to the pandemic, they are now focusing on helping clients disinfect their homes and businesses. They will use their PPE funding to purchase masks, disinfectant, and hand sanitizer.
Popular Market is a Latinx-owned grocery and convenience store serving the Lawrence community. The market consistently provides fresh food and friendly service. They will use their PPE funding to buy masks and sanitizing products to protect their employees and customers.
Vinaan Café is an Asian woman-owned small business in Lowell. The Vietnamese-inspired coffee and bubble-tea shop is known for its deconstructed Vietnamese coffees. They will use their PPE funding to buy masks, hand sanitizer, and plexiglass.
Fusion Dolls is a Black woman-owned toy company in Brockton that helps children learn to love themselves inside and out through beautiful, multicultural dolls. In response to the pandemic, they are now making masks to help their customers stay healthy and safe. They will use their PPE funding to purchase mask-making materials and sanitizing equipment. Learn more on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.
MD Beauty Salon is a Latina-owned beauty salon serving the community of Holyoke. The salon feels like home to their customers. They will use their PPE funding to buy disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and masks. Learn more on their Facebook.
LCR | BizGrow provides free legal assistance, business support, and technical assistance to minority, immigrant, and women business owners—ensuring they encounter fewer obstacles and more opportunities. For nearly 20 years, LCR | BizGrow has helped close the wealth gap by fueling equitable economic growth and increasing access to economic justice. Programs include free legal representation, technical assistance, and workshops for small business owners on subjects such as entity formation, contracts, taxes, leases, and intellectual property.