• Erica Blackburn

Washington and United Arlines launch new program supporting small Black owned businesses

The Washington Football Team and United Airlines made waves today as they announced the launch of a program designated to support small Black-owned businesses in their efforts to recover economically.


Through COVID relief grants, businesses in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area will have the opportunity to gain financial relief. United Airlines will fund five grants totaling $25,000 which will be put toward business functions such as rent, operating costs, and payroll. Only select businesses who are active in the Washington Football Team Black Engagement Network (B.E.N.) Shop Black Directory will be able to participate.



"It’s important for us to support the small businesses that bring immeasurable value and cultural vibrance to our DMV community,” said Doug Williams, Super Bowl XXII MVP and Senior Advisor to the Washington Football Team President, Jason Wright. “We know that Black entrepreneurs face many barriers when it comes to running their businesses and recognize that the last year has been particularly tough on small, minority-owned businesses. Which is why we are excited to partner with United to provide additional resources and support for the members of our Shop Black Directory.”


From July 15th to August 5th, small businesses from the Shop Black Directory interested in applying should visit [www.washingtonfootball.com/UnitedGrant]. To be eligible for the grant, businesses must meet the following criteria: certified Black-owned diverse supplier, employ fewer than 15 employees, have been in business for over a year with annual revenues of less than $250,000, located in the DMV, and a member of ‘Shop Black’ since or before May 1st, 2021.


“United is proud to work alongside the Washington Football Team to deepen our shared commitment to the National Capital region and the local, Black-owned businesses that employ our neighbors, energize our economy, and enrich our culture,” said Janet Lamkin, the airline’s senior vice president of market and community innovation. “Diversity, equity and inclusion are core values at United – values we will continue to advance here in the DMV and across all of the communities we serve.”



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