JumpStart and KeyBank seed Covid-19 relief grants for small businesses

Contributions by JumpStart and KeyBank are seeding more than $10 million in Covid-19 relief grants for business owners and entrepreneurs in Ohio and New York.

Powered by JumpStart and funded by a grant from the KeyBank Foundation, the KeyBank Business Boost and Build program is designed to stimulate economic growth — with a focus on helping businesses led by people of color and women.

“Our founding $1 million has leveraged another $9 million in funding from other partners with about 50 percent going to black and Latinx small businesses and entrepreneurs,” said Ray Leach, CEO of JumpStart Inc., the entrepreneur support organization in Cleveland, in an email.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the program has shifted to help community organizations mobilize their small business relief efforts.

Over the last three months, JumpStart and KeyBank, headquartered in Cleveland, have provided more than $1 million in relief funding for small businesses through KeyBank Business Boost and Build programs in Ohio and New York, where Key has significant operations.

These funds are being delivered as a series of contributions to larger community stabilization funds in ten cities:

In Ohio:

    • Cleveland — $250,000 to the Cuyahoga County Small Business Stabilization Fund
    • Akron — $100,000 to the COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program
    • Canton — $100,000 to the Faith in Stark Fund
    • Lorain — $25,000 to the Lorain County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program
    • Toledo — $100,000 to the LISC Greater Toledo Small Business Stabilization Fund
    • Youngstown — To be determined

In New York:

    • Albany — $150,000 to the Capital Region Urban Core MWBE Small Business Emergency Relief Grant
    • Buffalo — $100,000 to the Neighborly Fund
    • Rochester — $100,000 to the Small Business Relief and Retooling Grant Program
    • Syracuse — $150,000 to the Syracuse Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program

“Thousands of business owners and employees in Ohio, New York and across our nation are having to manage unprecedented challenges presented by Covid-19,” said Don Graves, KeyBank executive vice president and head of Corporate Responsibility, in a statement.

“With our partners at JumpStart, we stand with them, support them with crucial funding, and encourage others to assist our communities as we all move forward through this crisis,” Graves said.

Most of the grant recipients were ineligible for federal relief funding and are using the assistance to cover payroll and other expenses to stabilize their operations as the economy begins to reopen.

In Cleveland, The Business Growth Collaborative had disbursed $100,000 in grants to 20 minority-owned small businesses in Northeast Ohio in response to the Covid-19 crisis, as of May 20.

This article originally appeared in Cleveland Business Journal on June 18, 2020.