While the current measures being taken to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, such as social distancing and business closures, are necessary, they will likely have a more significant impact on the already fragile economic ecosystems of Black communities and Black-owned small businesses. More than ever, access to accurate information and opportunity is power, as the economic health and stability of Black communities depend on it.

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Thus, as part of its ESSENCE of the Matter: COVID-19’s Impact on Black America virtual platform, ESSENCE is partnering with the U.S. Black Chambers to host its first webinar, “Digital Dose: Everything Black-Owned Businesses Should Know about Leveraging the CARES Act to Financially Survive COVID-19.” The session will run on Monday, April 6, beginning at 1:00PM EST, as a 90-minute information and Q&A session focused on providing critical information about the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) under the newly passed stimulus package: the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The PPP authorizes up to $350 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses and other organizations to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as other allowed operational expenses. Session participants will better understand what is included in the PPP, the criteria for eligibility and how it impacts them, as well as the role of Black-owned businesses in community.

Applications open on Friday, April 3.

Participants will include:

-Ron Busby, President & CEO – U.S. Black Chambers

-Melanie Campbell, President & CEO – National Coalition on Black
Civic Participation / Convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable

-Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder & President – National Action Network

-Marc Morial, President & CEO – National Urban League

-Gwen Hess, President – Black Women’s Agenda

-Derrick Johnson, President & CEO – NAACP

-John Stanford – Managing Partner – Prism Group

-Michelle Ebanks – Immediate Past CEO, ESSENCE Communications, Inc.

For more information and to register, visit www.essence.com/cares-act.

The “ESSENCE of the Matter: COVID-19’s Impact on Black America” digital platform focuses on providing Black women and communities with the tools and information needed to address issues arising from the COVID-19 global pandemic. Whether via summits, experiences, short-form videos or other content, ESSENCE is committed to providing the solutions our community needs when they need it as we continue to navigate this unprecedented time together.


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