Summit County announces new round of small business grants

Akron got some righteous investments in the form of nearly $4 million in grants announced Sept. 25 by the Akron Community Foundation (ACF).

ACF announced its board approved $3,873,997 in grants, including $534,000 in “competitive civic affairs grants chosen by its Community Investment Committee and $150,000 in two grants awarded for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.”

From that $150,000, the Akron Urban League received a grant of $100,000, awarded over three years, to “help increase the organization’s capacity to lead social justice efforts through the addition of a director of diversity and strategic initiatives,” ACF said in its announcement.

The Akron Urban League has already filled that director’s position, recently announcing it’s been filled by Jennifer Ross.

“The current pandemic has highlighted disparities in health care and unemployment for African Americans,” said Teresa LeGrair, presideaccompanying the announcement. “The important work of the Akron Urban League continues to focus on the need for increased programs in workforce development, entrepreneurship and education. The funds awarded by Akron Community Foundation will help us in these efforts, and we are very grateful for the support.”

ACF’s awards this year makes for a long and broad list. It includes more than 50 recipients ranging from economic development agencies such as ConxusNEO, which received $50,000 to create virtual job-training services and assist Black workers, to $1,000 to BRITE Energy Innovators to support eight Akron-area clean energy technology startups.

The foundation has more information and a full run down of the recent grants online.

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