NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Hennessy announces additional $1M investment in Unfinished Business, an initiative introduced in June 2020 to help Black, Asian and Latinx owned small businesses with the financial and educational resources to power through challenges of COVID-19. Unfinished Business was established as a long-term small business program in response to the pandemic, with a goal of bolstering an equitable recovery for those of culturally diverse backgrounds. Hennessy's second phase of funding continues this mission, with applications opening at UnfinishedBusiness.US starting Tuesday, November 17th.
"Unfinished Business reflects our commitment and allyship to polycultural communities nationwide," said Giles Woodyer, senior vice president, Hennessy US. "Response to the program has been tremendous and we are honored to continue supporting the resiliency of these pillars of community, during the converging health, social and economic crises, and beyond."
Earlier this year, Hennessy's first round of grant funding was met with overwhelming response and the initial contribution of more than $3 million was distributed to over 1,250 small businesses hit hardest by recent economic upheaval. Most grant recipients stated that the funding was used to help pay for operating expenses to keep businesses running, payroll, technology upgrades, PPE, utilities and more. Nearly eight months into the Covid-19 pandemic, small businesses nationwide remain in danger of closing for good if they do not receive financial assistance, underscoring the urgent need for additional capital.
Partners Help Drive Replenishment
Hennessy remains committed to serving these communities well into the future and brand partners are stepping in to support. To sustain momentum, a coordinated effort among partners and ambassadors – including hip-hop legend Nas – has helped deliver on the initiative's promise to replenish the small business fund.
"Putting money back into the community is important especially during these times to help small businesses continue to survive," said hip-hop legend Nas. "Pushing forward is hard to do without resources like Unfinished Business, which is why I'm proud to contribute where I can to ensure small businesses continue to flourish."
Built for Community, By Community
Unfinished Business partners One Hundred Black Men, the Asian American Business Development Center, and the Hispanic Federation remain at the forefront of grant and resource distribution at the community-level. In addition to capital, these organizations also help to provide businesses with access to information, educational content, and other assets to safeguard business continuity.
"We appreciate Hennessy's generosity and understanding that these mom-and-pop businesses are at the heart of our communities," said AABDC President, John Wang. "We hope this is the start of more recognition among global corporations that Asian American small businesses must be supported to fully address inequalities within our society."
"During the current health, economic and civil rights crises in our country, we are proud to partner with Hennessy to provide ongoing financial relief to small Black businesses throughout the nation," said Michael J. Garner, Chairman, Corporate Board, One Hundred Black Men of New York City. "Earlier this year, we provided grants to businesses in 370+ U.S. cities, towns and villages, across 36 states. We are happy to support this vision during such turbulent times and even more thrilled to distribute a second round of grants before the holidays."
"Latino-owned businesses are the backbone of our community – our bodegas, retails shops and other establishments are the fabric of our neighborhoods. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a disproportionate impact on our community, our small businesses are even more vulnerable," said Frankie Miranda, President of Hispanic Federation. "Thanks to Hennessy, we were able to provide crucial grants to 200+ small businesses and gave them an opportunity to keep their doors open and continue to serve their neighborhoods. But our work is far from over."
Hennessy has also pledged an additional $700,000 to Another Round, Another Rally's Relief Fund for People of Color, a program providing $500 grants to diverse bartenders and hospitality workers. According to the trade body, BIPOC communities are largely responsible for the creation of the U.S. hospitality industry and are the primary force behind keeping it operational. Eligible applicants may learn more by visiting anotherroundanotherrally.org.
To learn more about Hennessy's Unfinished Business grant criteria or access educational resources, please visit UnfinishedBusiness.US
The leader in Cognac, the Maison Hennessy has shined around the world with its exceptional know-how for more than 250 years. Built on founder Richard Hennessy's spirit of conquest, the brand is present in more than 160 countries. Based in the heart of the Charente region, Hennessy is also a steadfast pillar of the regional economy. The Maison's success and longevity are rooted in the excellence of its cognacs, each of which is born of a unique process of transmission of know-how from generation to generation. The first spirits house to be certified ISO 14001, Hennessy unites its capacity for innovation and the support of all of its partners to protect this exceptional area. As a crown jewel of the LVMH Group, Hennessy is a major contributor to French international trade, with 99% of production sold in export, and a worldwide ambassador for the French art de vivre.
ONE HUNDRED BLACK MEN
OHBM was founded in 1963 (following an act of injustice against a Black woman) by Hon. Judge Robert Mangum, Hon. David N. Dinkins, Jackie Robinson and other prominent men of the civil rights era. One Hundred Black Men is the premier civic organization for Black Men and has grown to have over 100 chapters throughout the United States and abroad. OHBM supports communities by annually awarding $100,000 in college scholarships; conducting gun buyback programs that have removed 160 guns from our streets; championing the efforts of City and State government leaders to award 30% of contracts to MWBEs throughout New York State, COVID-19 Hunger Relief and other feeding programs; and annually mentoring over 200 students from throughout New York City through their Junior One Hundred Mentoring Program.
THE HISPANIC FEDERATION
The mission of the Hispanic Federation is to empower and advance the Hispanic community. Hispanic Federation provides grants and services to a broad network of Latino non-profit agencies serving the most vulnerable members of the Hispanic community and advocates nationally on vital issues of education, health, immigration, civil rights, economic empowerment, civic engagement, and the environment. For more information, please visit www.HispanicFederation.org
THE ASIAN AMERICAN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER
The Asian American Business Development Center, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization established in 1994. It assists Asian American businesses in strengthening their capacity to compete in the mainstream market, to expand business opportunities, and to promote recognition of Asian American businesses' contributions to the general economy. AABDC: www.aabdc.com
Outstanding 50 Awards: www.outstanding50award.com
Kate Kenny, BCW Global
(908) 834-5563, [email protected]
Jacqueline Long, Hennessy
(917) 596-3871, [email protected]