First founded in 2020, the expansive program aims to respond to the incommensurable impact COVID 19 has had on Black communities across the nation.
The 2022 iteration proudly continues to provide support and financial aid to small, independently owned and operated Harlem businesses and nonprofits.
Within the first week of the initiative’s release, over 1,000 businesses and organizations expressed interest.
“This year, the Harlem Entrepreneurial Microgrant Initiative saw nearly 100 local Harlem businesses apply to receive one of 10 available $10,000 grants,” said Jeanine Liburd, BET’s Chief Social Impact and Communications Officer. “BET’s ongoing social impact partnerships, with those organizations such as the Apollo Theater and the 125th Street Business Improvement District, enables us to continue to grant resources and opportunities to uplift the Black communities in which we serve.”
Now in its third year, the expanded microgrant initiative provided $100,000 in aid to local merchants and organizations who have been affected by the lasting impact of pandemics.
BET was pleased to present each of the 10 recipients with a $10,000 grant to support their continued COVID-19 recovery, honor the entrepreneurial spirit of Soul Train’s path-breaking innovator and pioneer, Don Cornelius, and recognize Black excellence from those who have done tremendous work to be changemakers, advocates, and role models within the local Harlem community.
A complete list of 2022 recipients is below.
2022 Harlem Entrepreneurial Microgrant Recipients:
- The Dominici Collective – (Cultural arts organization)
- The New Amsterdam Musical Association, Inc. – (Cultural music organization)
- Butter by Keba – (Aromatherapy and wellness)
- Revolution Books – (Educational organization)
- Harlem Jazz Boxx – (Cultural organization)
- Harlem Doggie Day Spa – (Animal care organization
- Super Nice Coffee and Bakery – (Community food and employment)
- The Children’s Art Carnival – (Visual Arts educational organization)
- 9Tails Coffee Shop – (Community space)
- MODArts Dance Collective – (Cultural arts organization)
“The Apollo is thrilled to support our fellow Harlem businesses and nonprofit organizations in partnership with BET and the Harlem BID,” said Jonelle Procope, Apollo Theater’s President, and CEO. “The third round of microgrant recipients not only strengthens the community with their entrepreneurial spirit but they also cultivate safe spaces for conversation, reflection, and action. I am incredibly inspired by this cohort of innovative thinkers and look forward for what’s to come.”
“We recognize the many operational and business disruption challenges that our small business owners and our cultural institutions in Harlem are forced to navigate on a daily basis during this recovery phase of COVID 19,” said Barbara Askins, President, and CEO of the 125th Street Business Improvement District. “The 125th Street BID embraces the partnership with the Apollo Theater and BET to invest in our community and offer the third microgrant program to bring some financial relief, boost confidence and to show we believe in you.”
To date, the Harlem Entrepreneurial Microgrant Initiative has supported over 50 small businesses and organizations as they continue to navigate the road to recovery from the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on their business reports The City Life.
For more information, please visit apollotheater.org/event/harlementrepreneurial-micro-grant-initiative-2022.
BET, a subsidiary of Paramount Global, is the nation’s leading provider of quality content from Black creators and the champion of Black content and culture. BET linear is in 125 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, Brazil, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa and France.
After a record-breaking 40 years as the leading cable network among Black Americans, BET transformed into the multiplatform media powerhouse that it is today, with business extensions including BET Studios, an unprecedented studio venture that offers equity ownership for Black content creators; BET+, the preeminent streaming service for the Black audience; BET Digital, including BET’s wide-reaching social platforms and BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s events and experience business; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.
The 125th Street Business Improvement District
The 125th Street Business Improvement District (BID) was signed into law in 1993 by Mayor David N. Dinkins.
It is a non-profit organization that strives to enhance the Harlem area through marketing local businesses, directing area improvement projects, and promoting a clean and safe environment.
Harlem is one of the liveliest neighborhoods in New York City and its 125th Street economic hub is a unique place to live, work, visit and invest.
Located in the heart of Historic Harlem, 125th Street is a multi-dimensional destination with a range of uses including commercial, social, residential, educational, civic, and religious, with a strong emphasis on arts, culture, and entertainment and culture-related commerce.
Our work is dedicated to expanding sustainable economic activity, maximizing the ability of local residents, businesses and institutions to benefit from any and all opportunities created by commercial revitalization efforts and to improving the quality of life in the community.
The non-profit Apollo is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that also produces festivals and large-scale dance and musical works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens, including the world premiere of the theatrical adaptation of TaNehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved; special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo; 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella; the annual Africa Now! Festival; bi-annual Women of the World (WOW) Festival; as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.
Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop.
Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, H.E.R., D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, and Miri Ben Ari; and Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy. For more information about Apollo, visit www.ApolloTheater.org.