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Second round of C-DEE grants is open to minority-owned businesses statewide


C-DEE grant recipients gather at a ceremony last May. This year’s round of grants to minority-owned businesses is open statewide, beginning Monday. Image/WMUR-TV

MANCHESTER, NH – Entrepreneurs of color across New Hampshire can apply for the second round of C-DEE Accelerator grants beginning Monday.

The first round, last year, was a pilot program limited to Manchester-area businesses, but the new round is open to minority-owned businesses statewide.

The Community-Driven Economic Empowerment (C-DEE) program is a partnership between the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, Business Alliance for People of Color-NH, and the Manchester Chapter of the NAACP. The grants provide capacity-building funding for entrepreneurs of color to help their businesses become financially resilient and self-sufficient, aiming to help close a serious gap.

A Pew Research study found that 86% of businesses whose ownership was classifiable by race were white-owned and account for 93% of all revenue from classifiable companies.

“We wanted to explore how we can help minority-owned businesses and communities do their own economic development,” Manchester NAACP President James McKim said last year.

Carlos Rincon, a Community Loan Fund business lender and C-DEE program manager, said the professional services aspect is key. 

“Many entrepreneurs of color have told us they could grow their businesses with a boost from computer technology and professional services, like bookkeeping,” Rincon said. “These businesses are an integral part of our community. Connecting them to these resources will help augment their impact.”

Businesses that are registered and in good standing with the state can apply for up to $5,000. Funding can be used for computer hardware and software, as well as professional services including bookkeeping, marketing, legal consultation, and website design. 

Businesses awarded funding last year ranged from therapists and life coaches, to communications providers, to a knitwear designer, an interior decorator, restaurants and many others.

The application period is open until April 18. For more information on applying visit communityloanfund.org.

All applicants, even those that aren’t awarded funding, are offered free business coaching from the Center for Women & Enterprise or Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Centers.

Last year, 20 businesses in southern New Hampshire shared $52,586 in funding out of 26 applicants. The grant recipients were recognized at a ceremony in May. They were:

  • African Elite Boutique, Manchester
  • AfroParis, Manchester
  • Aloyo Money Management, Pembroke
  • Anthony Payton Media, Nashua
  • CHW4EVER, Manchester
  • El Rincon Zacatecano Taqueria, Manchester
  • Foliage, Manchester
  • Himalayas General Store, Manchester
  • Human Being Human, southern NH
  • Katered Transport and Logistics, Manchester
  • Licent, Manchester
  • Melaza Dance Studio
  • Monaco Co., Londonderry
  • Nicole Sublette Counseling Services, Manchester
  • SDW Communications, Manchester
  • Shah Brothers, Manchester
  • StandNP, Manchester
  • ToKossTakeOut, Manchester
  • Uphealing, Bedford
  • ZemZem Mediterranean Restaurant, Manchester.


About this Contributor

Maureen Milliken

Maureen Milliken is a contract reporter and content producer for consumer financial agencies. She has worked for northern New England publications, including the New Hampshire Union Leader, for 25 years, and most recently at Mainebiz in Portland, Maine. She can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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