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Five KC businesses team up to provide more for Black entrepreneurs

brandon calloway
Posted at 9:21 AM, Nov 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-22 10:26:48-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new partnership is working to provide more for Black entrepreneurs in the Kansas City metro.

G.I.F.T is one of those organizations. The nonprofit, which stands for Generating Income for Tomorrow, works to provide financial resources for and wrap-around services for Kansas City Black businesses, specifically businesses operating in low-income areas.

On G.I.F.T's website, it states poverty rates for residents east of Troost Avenue are 36%, and 75% of those residents are Black, according to 2017 city data.

Since its launch last year, they had 100 businesses apply and were able to offer grants to 14 of the 100, after more than $440,000 was raised by the community.

In an effort to increase that number, G.I.F.T is teaming up with Lead Bank, Alt-Cap, The Black Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City and equity2.

"No one organization is going to be able to reverse the longstanding impacts of redlining alone. No three or four organizations are going to be able to do that either," G.I.F.T co-founder Brandon Calloway said. "But by all of our organizations coming together, realizing that we play a specific role in these different steps in these financial access pipelines, we're able to be strategic and aggressive and right so many of the wrongs, specifically the financial disinvestment."

Lead Bank CEO, Joshua Rowland says because of the fundamental aftermath of practices, such as redlining, from the 40s, 50s and 60s. Those consequences are still seen today.

"Not everybody is starting from the same point," Rowland said. "So to address everyone with the same measures doesn't help them, you have to actually look at where people are starting from and create opportunities and access from where they are starting from."

The partnership is roughly three months in. So far, they've helped one business receive a micro-loan. As the partnership expands, they expect the number to grow.

G.I.F.T is also launching a "Black Business Market." On the last Saturday of each month, where they host 15-20 businesses at their office and encourage the community to shop.

To learn more about the partnership, visit the website.