Cannabis company The Gift recently received a $10,000 grant from Beyonce’s charity initiative BeyGOOD and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), said Black Enterprise.
The award was given to the company as part of BeyGOOD and the NAACP’s partnership, announced earlier this year. The two organizations aimed to provide small business grants for businesses owned by Black entrepreneurs in cities across the United States including Houston, New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Atlanta. It is catering to firms that have been affected by the pandemic.
According to the NAACP’s announcement, “BeyGOOD is on a mission to spread hope. The goal is a lifeline for small businesses at the epicenter of dual pandemics. BeyGOOD has teamed up with the NAACP to expand economic opportunity by awarding grants of $10,000 on the 15th of each month through the end of 2020.”
The Gift, founded in 2018 by Cory Moore and Elizabeth Robinson, is a wellness company that focuses on natural health options. It was one of the 17,000 businesses that applied for the grant.
The Gift Co-founder and CEO Cory Moore said in a statement to Black Enterprise, “Companies in the legal cannabis industry face higher costs for just about everything from insurance to banking, even if they are working strictly with hemp, not marijuana.”
Cannabis companies suffer from underbanking because the plant remains to be illegal on the federal level. Regarding this situation with financial services, Moore said, “Banks are reluctant to lend to us because the regulations around hemp are new and still developing in some respects. Black-owned businesses are challenged even further when it comes to financing.”
With the grant, Moore is more positive about the industry. He said, “This grant from NAACP and Beyonce has made us feel seen, and we are grateful to them for the opportunities we will create with these funds.”
With the grant The Gift received from the two organizations, the company will be able to expand its offerings and locations. The Gift plans to launch an e-commerce website and educational platform, which will be called Project 545. It also seeks to relaunch its existing product line in new packaging that is sustainable and eco-friendly.
Aside from these plans, the company also seeks to establish a farm, hemp fiber processing center, and a learning campus in North Caroline. These are planned to push through in 2021.
Besides BeyGOOD, NAACP also partnered up with other organizations to provide support for Black entrepreneurs. The group also partnered with Diversity Capital, Hello Alice, and many others. This initiative is focused on businesses affected by the pandemic and the social uprisings that have been occurring in the United States.
Aside from cannabis-focused companies, the NAACP in partnership with Bacardi is also helping other businesses such as Black-owned alcohol service, sales, and hospitality firms with a $35,000 grant. With the help of Hello Alice, the organization is also deploying more than four million dollars in grants and resources.