Busy street crossing.
The ODP Corporation has a new initiative to boost economic recovery. Photo: Pixabay.

Elevate Together awarded more than $1.1 million in grants for African American and Hispanic small businesses in 2022

ODP's Elevate Together initiative celebrates Entrepreneurship Week by tracking progress made in 2022.


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The nonprofit initiative Elevate Together, founded by The ODP Corporation and supported by Round It Up America, recently announced that it gave 189 Black and Hispanic small business owners $1.14 million in grants in 2022 — a figure the initiative is seeking to expand as it enters its third year of operation.

Gerry Smith, chief executive officer for the ODP Corporation, pointed out:

Over the past year, we awarded 189 small business owners cash grants valued between $5,000 and $10,000, which they could use to innovate and grow their businesses in exciting ways.

Striving for a more inclusive economy

With the goal of narrowing the racial wealth gap and accelerating the creation, growth, and prosperity of Black and Hispanic-owned small businesses in communities across the U.S., Elevate Together was launched by The ODP Corporation in early 2021 in collaboration with the National Urban League Entrepreneurship Centers and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). It offers impactful and scalable support services that foster business creation and growth opportunities for African American and Hispanic small businesses with five or fewer employees.

In addition to help in the form of cash grants, products and services, eligible small business owners gain access to educational workshops, training and mentoring services, professional networking and more.

“These cash grants have given Black and Hispanic business owners the funds they need to help grow their businesses. But we don’t just stop there. Elevate Together pairs these entrepreneurs with certified mentors to help them succeed on their evolving business journeys,” added Smith.

Key partners 

Elevate Together is supported by investments from strategic partners that help them foster equal opportunity.

In addition to the annual corporate donation to the initiative from the ODP Corporation and donations from associates and customers at Office Depot and OfficeMax retail stores, Elevate Together was further supported in 2022 by generous gifts from Chase for Business and the Taylor Corporation.

This support helped the organization expand from five to 11 U.S. markets by 2022, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and South Florida.

In 2022, the initiative also introduced Elevate Together Day, the first free virtual summit event of its kind, hosting a $25,000 fundraising effort to support Black- and Hispanic-owned small businesses.

To learn more about Elevate Together powered by Round It Up America, including how to get involved as a small business or donate to the initiative to help drive change, click here.


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