FORT COLLINS – A program run by a group that advocates for businesses owned by Black, Latino, indigenous and other people of color in Larimer County has awarded a total of $25,000 grants to help those entities access capital and resources.
Wealth in Numbers (WIN), a program of the Fort Collins-based BIPOC Alliance, awarded the grants to 16 applicants to support needs such as COVID-19 relief, general overhead capital, payroll or marketing. More than 30 applications were received, totaling more than $188,000 in funding requests.
Through the WIN program, the BIPOC Alliance works to elevate, educate and uplift members of the BIPOC business community. The grant application process is designed to lower common barriers in funding eligibility, and allows applicants autonomy over how funds are used for their business to thrive.
In addition to grant-funding support, the WIN program leverages strengths within the BIPOC community to offer peer-led training, mentorship, community connection, networking and more. Temporary, one-time American Rescue Plan Act funding enabled the WIN program to launch this year. Of the funding received, $17,000 was allocated to grant support. The application process revealed that more than $188,000 is needed to ensure a thriving business community for people of color in Northern Colorado, a finding that motivated the BIPOC Alliance to secure additional funding, from $17,000 to $25,000, to support more businesses. Through an extensive application process with Larimer County, the alliance received $50,000 to support BIPOC businesses and entrepreneurs and launch educational programming.
Community members can expect workshops, seminars and networking opportunities in 2023, according to a WIN media release.
Because of the restrictions of Rescue Plan funding timelines, the inaugural support of the program is limited. Donations can be made directly to the BIPOC
Alliance, with WIN noted, by visiting https://bit.ly/Donate-BIPOCAlliance.
The BIPOC Alliance is fiscally sponsored by Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins.