September 25, 2020

Growing & Sustaining Our Small Business Community
Resilient Columbia CARES Act
Revolving Loan Fund Information Session

The Resilient Columbia CARES Act Revolving Loan Fund will provide a financing option to small businesses in an effort to “prevent, prepare for, and respond” to the economic injury attributed to the coronavirus (COVID-19). These funds will be the second Economic Development Administration funded Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) at the City of Columbia and will be used to finance small businesses located within the corporate limits of the City of Columbia that have been impacted by COVID-19. Under this RLF, business owners may apply for a loan ranging from $10,000 - $200,000. These loans will be zero percent (0%) the first year of repayment and two percent (2.5%) fixed for the remaining loan term.

During this information session,the City of Columbia Office of Business Opportunities, the SC Small Business Development Center, and the Benedict College Women's Business Center will walk you through the process of completing the application. 

Email or call 803-545-3950
for additional information.
City of Columbia Mentor Protege Program (MPP) Annual Meeting Webinar

September 29th or October 1st
2pm- 4pm

The City of Columbia Office of Business Opportunities will hold a virtual webinar for all current and interested participants of the Mentor Protege Program. This program is designed to develop viable and independent Minority-Owned, Women-Owned and Small Business Enterprise firms (M/W/SBE) that are capable of participating in the construction and professional service industry. The assistance provided by Compliance and the Mentors is to encourage and offer advice and opportunities to perform on projects so that the M/W/SBE firms can gain the experience necessary to grow their businesses. 

Click here to register for September 29th
Click here to register for October 1st

The Future of Insurance Technology is Now! 
Sep 29, 2020 05:00 PM 

Join us for a panel of young professionals in the insurance industry!
Magnify Mastermind

Peer-to-Peer Program
Accelerating the Growth of Black and Latina Entrepreneurs

The challenges of minority women entrepreneurs are often quite different from those experienced by their counterparts. Black and Latina women face unique hurdles, beyond the normal challenges of gaining access to capital, access to networks, cultural bias, and lack of representation. 

Magnify Mastermind is the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council’s latest update to its Mastermind programming designed for Latina and Black Women Entrepreneurs. Business owners are curated into dynamic peer learning groups. Each group will meet regularly for six (6) months to discuss challenges, devise solutions, and gain insight to drive market leadership and growth.

The Magnify expert network includes seasoned/veteran business owners, corporate executives, buyers, decision makers, and influencers within the supplier diversity ecosystem who offer their time as guest speakers for monthly Magnify Master Class webinars. 
Black Men Xcel 2020
Celebrating the Best of Who We Are
An Experience Beyond Zoom

October 22-23, 2020
BMX is a groundbreaking leadership excellence conference for black men who are a valuable and necessary pool of talent for the success of companies, industries, communities and the nation, supported and amplified by the robust multimedia activations of Black Enterprise, including digital, video and social.

Connect and engage directly with men of color who share a passion for professional and leadership excellence in every field of endeavor, who comprise a unique source of human capital invaluable to corporate America’s competitiveness in the global economy.
Benedict College & CVS Health Partner to Offer FREE
Drive-Thru Testing Site During September
Benedict College and CVS Health have partnered to offer rapid COVID-19 testing on the College’s Columbia campus. CVS Pharmacists and pharmacy employees will staff the testing operation, which will be available at no cost to patients through September 30.

Testing at Benedict College, located at 1903 Two Notch Road in Columbia, will be open to the public by appointment. Patients will need to pre-register in advance by calling 803-705-4351 to schedule a time slot to come to the center for testing.  A personal vehicle is not required for testing and results will be provided on-the-spot. To be eligible for testing, patients will need to meet criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to age guidelines.
At you can find out:

  • How to Register?
  • Who can Register?
  • Check Voter Registration Information
  • Update Vote Registration

Free Times article by David Clarey:

Grant fund for Black and Indigenous South Carolina hospitality owners announced 

Black and Indigenous Columbia hospitality business owners will be eligible for a James Beard Foundation grant fund. The foundation, which gives out what are maybe the most prestigious awards in the industry, is giving out one-time payments in the form of $15,000 grants, it announced in a press release this week. The organization is giving out the funds across six regions, South Carolina is in region four, along with Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina.

While the specific application details are unannounced, the criteria detailed thus far dictates this: The business must be independently owned with 50 or fewer full- or part-time employees as of Feb. 15 or be a restaurant group that meets the same criteria, and be at least 51 percent owned by Black and/or Indigenous Americans.

“The new fund is part of the foundation’s ongoing commitment to continually lift up the Black and Indigenous business owners in its industry, not just in light of the pandemic, but for good,” the organization’s vice president of community, Colleen Vincent, is quoted in the press release. The to-be-released application will be announced at a later date, when enough funds have been secured for “one round of funding.” The announced details can be found here.

Read full article here

The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) COVID-19 Relief Fund will provide $500 to licensed beauty professionals who are unable to work due to COVID-19. The funding, if awarded to you, is intended to be emergency aid for short-term immediate needs such as food and bills.
The South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs (SCCMA) invites you to complete a survey that will aid in the development of the agency's central directory for minority-owned businesses. SCCMA is developing a statewide Minority Business Directory to provide information to uses who are interested in doing business with minority-owned businesses. To be included in the directory, complete the Minority Business Directory Questionnaire.
Small Business Energy Solutions

Dominion Energy is offering assistance to small businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout the state with their Small Business Energy Solution program.
The program is available to small business or nonprofit customers with five or fewer Dominion Energy electric accounts and an annual energy use of 350,000 kWh or less.
Benefits of the Carolina Virginia Supplier Minority Diversity Council Certification
CVMSDC Certification offers minority suppliers the opportunity to connect face-to-face with many of America’s largest publicly-owned, privately-owned, and foreign-owned companies, as well as universities, hospitals, and other buying institutions.

Leveraging more than 35 years as an industry expert in Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE) enrichment, development, and impact, CVMSDC offers certified minority suppliers support from technical trainings to exclusive buyer forums and corporate procurement events.

Certification Benefits include:

  • Nationally-recognized Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE) Certification
  • Exposure to business opportunities through Local, regional, and national referrals of minority businesses to member corporations, as well as exposure to approximately 3,600 leading national companies.– more than 2/3 of certified MBEs confirm an increase in revenue by partnering with Corporate Members
  • Listings in the National MSDC supplier database, accessible by Corporate Buyers nationwide
  • Invitations to private networking, corporate matchmaking and procurement events for the opportunity to network with Corporate Members at Carolinas-Virginia MSDC events and activities.
  • Opportunities to compete for prestigious local, regional, and national supplier excellence awards
  • Access to educational trainings and systems that meet you where you are today and grow you to where corporations are attracted to you
  • Meet fellow MBEs to build relationships and find opportunities with other MBEs.

Census 2020
The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how vital federal funding flows into our Midlands community for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every municipality, no matter the size or location.Think of your morning commute: Census results influence highway planning and construction, as well as grants for buses and other public transit systems.

The results of the Census also determine the number of seats South Carolina will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

Currently, only 57% of Richland County residents have completed the 2020 Census. Do your part to volunteer and help get the word out to our community about how important it is for everyone to complete the (EASY!) online Census form.

To volunteer or find out more,
#MaskupColumbiaSC Challenge

You can show your passion for keeping our Midlands community healthy by doing your part to crush the spread of the COVID-19 virus and, best of all, look awesome doing it!

The new #MaskupColumbiaSC Challenge is a photo and video contest that everyone can join in on to show off their own mask, demonstrate mask-making how-tos, or even share fun and creative tik-toks.

The City of Columbia has joined with cities across the country by issuing a mask mandate for the health and safety of our community. To show how easy and enjoyable wearing a mask can be, The City, Tapp’s Outpost and other community partners are excited to announce a new public health challenge called #MaskUpColumbiaSC to encourage everyone to protect themselves and others from potential exposure to COVID-19. Find out more at
The Resilient Columbia Pledge
It’s Never Too Late To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19!

Businesses can take the pledge here today!
City of Columbia |