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American Express and Main Street America Announce Latest “Inclusive Backing” Grantees
October 14, 2022 | US

American Express, in partnership with Main Street America, announced the latest recipients of its 2022 “Inclusive Backing” grant program. The grantees were each awarded $5,000 each to 120 small business owners who identify as Native, Indigenous, Hispanic, Latinx, LGBTQ+, immigrants, or as refugees. These small businesses were selected with the help of community partners including: HIAS, the Hispanic Federation, Oweesta, and The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

Last year, American Express and Main Street America, created “Inclusive Backing”, a grant program to help underrepresented U.S. small business owners recover from the pandemic and grow their businesses. The program has provided educational resources and $1.65 million in grants to 330 U.S. small business owners from underrepresented communities.

Read on to learn about how some of these small business owners plan to use the funding to address their most critical needs:

Photo: Courtesy of Discover Sarasota Tours

Tammy Hauser, Founder & CEO of Discover Sarasota Tours, a trolley tour business in Sarasota, FL: “I started the business in 2019 as a love story to Sarasota to connect both tourists and locals to the area’s many communities and neighborhoods – a place rich in history, art and culture. Growing up with parents from Mexico and Germany, my multi-cultural identity really showed me how important it is to be able to bring communities together – and when moving to Sarasota that’s exactly what I wanted to do. As a travel business, the pandemic and its relentless challenges have really hit us hard. Now that travel is back and Sarasota itself has become one of the fastest growing communities with so many new residents and visitors, this grant money will help support operational costs and allow us to expand our year-round tour offerings (we currently offer 15 different daytime tours) for nearly double the demand we’ve been seeing since 2020. We can’t afford to take on debt, so this grant has been a true gift that really validates all the hard work my staff and I have put in to persevere during these hard times.”

To view the full list of 2022 grant recipients, visit here.

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