Supporting Small Businesses on Their Path to Recovery
by Stephanie Kalele, Donor Relations Manager
The negative effect of the pandemic among small businesses is not news anymore. Yet, there are also many victories to celebrate and today we lift up the story of OSHA Solutions, a worker-owned business in the Urban Upbound network who last week received some stupendous news: they won a $10,000 small business grant from LISC. Congratulations!
Launched in 2017, OSHA Solutions was the second cooperative business incubated by Urban Upbound’s business innovation team and the first to offer OSHA safety training classes in Spanish. The business currently consists of four immigrant Latinx worker-owners that call Queens home. They are also the first immigrant-led cooperative to be certified as a Minority-Owned Businesses (MBE) by New York City, an achievement that resulted from the partnership with Urban Upbound. Over these last 5 years, our team business innovation team has supported them with technical assistance services in various areas, including financial management, marketing strategy, and governance, among others.
Black and Latinx small business owners have taken the hardest hit during COVID-19, experiencing 41% and 32% drops in business activity and OSHA Solutions was no exception. They knew they had to reshape their services to get back on their feet. During these past several months, while facing challenges at work and personally at home, the cooperative and Urban Upbound continued working together to help them transition to digital classes and apply for small business relief grants.
This grant from LISC offered in collaboration with Long Island City Partnership is crucial as it will allow OSHA Solutions to cover rent, payroll, and expand their customer base by upskilling their trainers and allowing them to offer new services such as scaffolding safety training. Urban Upbound greatly appreciates all of our supporters and partners. Your donation tremendously helps the community on their path to social and economic recovery from the challenges of COVID-19. Together we make a difference.