Comunidad

Community Connections Spotlight: Tonnie’s Minis & Julia Lynn Productions, Inc.

Community Connections Spotlight: Tonnie’s Minis & Julia Lynn Productions, Inc. 

Community connections supporting small business and our local communities

This August, we celebrate National Black Business Month, which was founded in 2004 as a partnership between Frederick E. Jordan, an engineering entrepreneur, and John William Templeton, President and Executive Editor of scholarly publishing company eAccess Corp. Jordan discovered that there were few financing options for Black entrepreneurs when he began his own company in 1969. Thus, National Black Business Month was created to spotlight Black business ownership and motivate support for Black-owned businesses across our nation.

At Optimum Business, we understand how support of National Black Business Month is particularly vital given the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 on Black communities. Even before the pandemic, minority entrepreneurs, who own 37% of all U.S. businesses, faced greater challenges in launching, maintaining, and growing their companies. This is why we are proud to partner with the Coalition to Back Black Businesses (CBBB) - a multi-year initiative launched in September 2020 by American Express, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and the nation's leading Black chambers to support Black small businesses as they recover from the pandemic and chart a path forward. This initiative will provide over $13 million in grants, training, and resources to empower Black-owned small businesses through 2024. Si le interesa solicitar la próxima ronda de financiación, el período de solicitud abrirá en septiembre de 2021. Para obtener más información, visite https://webackblackbusinesses.com.

As part of our involvement with CBBB, we recently provided $25,000 enhancement grants to 2 Black-owned small businesses. The funding will help them emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and support their long-term success - whether the goal is to develop a stronger online presence or open a new location.

Small Business owner Tonnie Rozier of Tonnie’s Minis, and founder LaVerne Bowen of Julia Lynn Production, Inc, are two grant recipients who have benefitted from the funding and mentorship provided by the CBBB.

Community connections - quote from Tonnie Rozier | Tonnie's Minis

Tonnie’s Minis is a retail/wholesale bakery established in 2004 in New York City and now located in Newark, New Jersey. The company supplies corporate America, residential, and wholesale accounts throughout the state of New Jersey. Its mission has always been to make the world smile with one cupcake at a time. Recently, Team Tonnie's Mini's took part in one of its largest donations in the city of Newark, volunteering their time and supplying 10,000 cupcakes to graduating students in 2020.

In response to the opportunity provided by the CBBB, Tonnie Rozier states, "We remained open to the hope of new horizons, and within one year, we look back, and we are on our way. Initially, the Coalition to Back Black Businesses started out with a great opportunity for me to keep my mind focused on business when business appeared to come to a halt. But instead, it opened me up to a new world to discuss, share, learn, and grow my business amongst my peers. Mentorship is truly the key to success, but without access, small business often remains stagnant. The CBBB offered me the best of all of the above. In addition to the access and training, it's kept my mind sharp and fiscally allowed my company to keep moving forward during a time when many businesses - including Tonnie's Minis - could only imagine what may be next."

Community connection - quote by LaVerne Bowen | Julia Lynn Production, Inc.

Julia Lynn Production, Inc is an afterschool program in New York City, serving middle school and high school students with a holistic science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) approach to media arts and nutrition. Through group activities supported by expert skills training, Julia Lynn Productions works with youth to produce impactful television, podcasting, and media segments. Emphasizing civic engagement, the youth gain holistic and media skills that enhance their future careers and society.

"The impact of the Coalition to Back Black Businesses grants has been life-changing," states Bowen. "The mentorship has enabled me to become poised as a true CEO and leader. Our team will move forward with our strategic plan to begin phase one of implementation of our community garden, state-of-the-art media equipment, and entrepreneurship activities."

At Optimum Business, we are committed to providing connectivity solutions that help Black-owned business owners thrive. To hear more stories and tips from our small business community and access resources to support your business, visit theOptimum Business Small Business Resource Hub.