CHICAGO, Oct. 30, 2020 Courvoisier® Cognac, the most awarded cognac house*, today announces a partnership with National Urban League, a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment, equality and social justice. This partnership is an action-oriented step in Courvoisier's commitment to empowering and supporting Black and other underserved communities. In addition to this partnership, the premium spirits brand is pledging $1 million to provide lasting support to Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs over the span of five years.
The partnership will kick-off by addressing the critical and immediate needs of Black-owned businesses as a result of COVID-19 through National Urban League's Urban League Fights for You Virtual Series. The program's Small Business Entrepreneurship Summit, slated for Tuesday, November 10, 2020, will feature two virtual sessions, curated by Courvoisier, tailored to inspire attendees and help Black business owners and other entrepreneurs navigate a new and changing landscape.
"The African American and minority communities are extremely important to Courvoisier, and we believe it is essential for us to support these voices," said Jon Potter, Managing Director for Courvoisier. "We know this year has brought a lot of challenges, and it's made us reflect on how we can take action to provide aid to these communities not only today, but long-term. The National Urban League was the clear choice for a partner to help guide us in this commitment. We are proud of this partnership and look forward to doing impactful work together."
During the virtual series, Courvoisier partners Rhuigi Villaseñor, the designer and creative director behind streetwear brand – Rhude, and contemporary artist Al-Baseer Holly (ABH), whose brightly hued artwork pays tribute to his upbringing and community, will bring their unique perspectives to the online sessions and offer entrepreneurial tips to an audience of small-business owners. The discussion will be led by Marc Parham, the Director of Entrepreneurship for the Urban League of Greater Atlanta, as the panelists provide creative solutions for small business owners looking to thrive in a new digital-reliant world.
As part of the series, Courvoisier and National Urban League will award five monetary grants to small business owners who attend the Summit. Courvoisier's two virtual sessions include:
- Retooling Your Business Marketing Post-COVID-19, 4 p.m. EST – The panel discussion will be led by Al-Baseer, Rhuigi, Marc Parham and Courvoisier influencers Brooke Mackie and Chris Roy, as they provide insights, business tips and inspirational anecdotes to help Black small business owners and entrepreneurs when it comes to digital marketing and leveraging the power of social media.
- Cocktails and Conversations – Virtual Networking Event with Courvoisier Cognac, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. EST – Before concluding the Summit, participants over the age of 21 are invited to join Courvoisier and National Urban League for an interactive happy hour featuring Courvoisier® Cognac cocktails and immersive breakout sessions where like-minded small business owners can casually converse. These breakout rooms will be facilitated by Courvoisier influencers alongside National Urban League members, focusing on a variety of topics: Chris Roy and Kwabena "K. Botchey" will focus on social media engagement; Cecil Roland "Ro" Coit will talk about creating a loyal customer base; Brooke Mackie will focus on building strategic partnerships; finally, Alejandro "Alex" Goudie will discuss event promotions in a virtual world; among others. Interested attendees must register in advance to receive a Drizly code for Courvoisier product and cocktail recipes. To register, click here.
"Black-owned businesses are essential to our communities and the economy, as the pandemic-induced economic downturn has made abundantly clear," says National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial. "As economic first-responders, we've seen the enormous and disproportionate impact on Black business owners first-hand, and this knowledge served as the inspiration behind our Small Business Entrepreneurship Summit. Through our partnership with Courvoisier, we're expanding upon our mission in providing valuable assets and resources to Black business owners facing obstacles due to COVID-19 and helping them navigate these challenges with a better roadmap and path forward."
Through to the conclusion of the Small Business Entrepreneurship Summit, small business attendees have the chance to apply for a grant through the National Urban League for a chance to win $5,000 for their business. Applicants must provide a response to the following question: How would you use a $5,000 grant to help your business battle the impact of COVID-19?** NUL will select winners and award the grants following the Summit. Applicants must be minority small business owners, 21 years and older, who have an operational business that has been affected in some way by COVID-19 to be considered.
For more information on grant applications and the upcoming Small Business Entrepreneurship Summit, please visit: https://nul.org/event/small-business-entrepreneurship-summit
To stay informed on future activations and announcements regarding Courvoisier and NUL programming, be sure to follow @CourvoisierUSA and @NatUrbanLeague across all social media platforms.
The House of Courvoisier was founded by Felix Courvoisier based on his belief in the power of the collective. It is this conviction that inspired Courvoisier to nurture close relationships with respected artisans and winegrowers to produce its high quality, award-winning Cognac in its hometown of Jarnac since 1828. Courvoisier Cognac has several expressions, which appeal to a variety of Cognac preferences and lifestyles, including VS, VSOP, Avant-Garde Bourbon Cask Edition, XO, Initiale Extra, and the ultimate expression of the House, L'Essence de Courvoisier.
* Based on 20 top spirits competitions since 2019
**Full criteria for applying and qualifying the grant can be found here; Grants will be awarded by National Urban League to Summit attendees
About Beam Suntory Inc.
As a world leader in premium spirits, Beam Suntory inspires human connections. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company's brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbon brands, Suntory whisky Kakubin and Courvoisier cognac, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek, Basil Hayden's and Legent bourbon; Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Toki Japanese whisky; Teacher's, Laphroaig and Bowmore Scotch whisky; Canadian Club whisky; Hornitos and Sauza tequila; EFFEN, Haku and Pinnacle vodka; Sipsmith and Roku gin; and Midori liqueur.
Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and vision of Growing for Good. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan. For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamsuntory.com and www.drinksmart.com.
About National Urban League
The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 90 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit www.nul.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague.
Courvoisier® Cognac, 40% alc./vol. Courvoisier Import Company, Chicago, IL USA,
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