COVID-19 has upended global industries and threatened to decimate small businesses. Data from Goldman Sachs revealed that 51% of small business owners believe their business would only be able to survive for between zero and three months, according to CNBC. Thankfully, entrepreneurial and altruistic ventures have zoned in with an aim to provide relief for those greatly affected. One such endeavor offers an immediate $10,000 emergency grant and seriously needed resources for struggling small businesses. 

Hello Alice is a tech platform founded by Elizabeth Gore and Carolyn Rodz and supported by names like Bumble, Amazon and Verizon. Their machine learning technology tailors information and opportunities for small business owners, especially for those underrepresented. Last week, they sought to fill a need by launching their COVID-19 business resource center and COVID-19 Business For All emergency grants. 

The scope of COVID-19 is ever-changing. With the difficulties in staying up to date with several news sources and agencies, Hello Alice’s digital resource center streamlines information by working in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation as well as entrepreneur networks and government agencies. This resource hub uses artificial intelligence to provide business owners and entrepreneurs with step-by-step access to financial aid, government programs, remote work training and resources for migrating business from offline to online, anxiety and mental health resources and more. In other words, small businesses already struggling with information overload can simplify at least one thing by having a selection of pertinent information directly from the source all in one place. 

Lawmakers are still scrambling to provide comprehensive COVID-19 relief. Even though a $2 trillion relief package has been passed by Congress, questions surrounding who qualifies for what amount and when money will be available remain a mystery, as Blavity previously reported. Such uncertainty isn’t helpful for businesses that are currently in dire straits. 

To help owners with their cash flow, Hello Alice and its partners, including the eBay Foundation and Silicon Valley Bank, are deploying COVID-19 Business for All Emergency Grants of $10,000 each. Grants will be distributed immediately to impacted owners with 50 or less employees. In addition to funding, recipients will receive ongoing support and mentoring from the Hello Alice community. 

Black communities are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus. And while no comprehensive data has been collected on the harm COVID-19 has had on minority business owners, logic would deduce that these already vulnerable entities are at even more risk than large chains, such as The Cheesecake Factory who straight-up told their landlord that they wouldn’t be paying the rent. Within the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, Congress allocated just $10 million to the Minority Business Development Agency, according to City Lab. 

Hello Alice was founded with a dream of business for everyone via access for all owners, especially women, people of color, LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, military-connected business owners and entrepreneurs with disabilities. If you’re one of these business owners, review the free resource center and be sure to apply for a grant. After all, with all of us under government lockdown we may not be physically on the move, but taking advantage of opportunities never stops.