Featured image: Tracy Green and Nancey Harris, co-founders of Vontélle and Business for All grant recipients
Powered by Hello Alice and in partnership with Verizon, the Business for All program launched in March 2020 to address entrepreneurs' single greatest barrier to growth: access to capital. The pandemic has only underscored that need while reminding us how small businesses comprise the heart of our communities.
With additional support from UBS, eBay Foundation, Silicon Valley Bank, Visible, Mastercard, Found/LA, Dany Garcia, and others, Hello Alice is proud to announce the 35 Business for All grant recipients, including 32 individual businesses and three business support organizations. Among this list, you'll find mental health providers responding to unprecedented need and beloved family-owned restaurants persevering despite new challenges. One support organization strives to make the tech industry more inclusive, while another is dedicated to serving military-connected entrepreneurs. In total, $420,000 will go to these recipients to support their long-term business growth.
Hello Alice is also proud to say that many recipients identify as part of the New Majority of small business owners. Of the 32 individual grant recipients:
- 8 (25%) are Hispanic
- 5 (16%) are Black
- 3 (9%) are Asian or Pacific Islander
- 1 (3%) is Native or Indigenous
- 4 (13%) are Multiracial
- 20 (63%) are Women
- 4 (13%) are LGBTQ+
- 2 (6%) are individuals with a disability or disabilities
- 5 (16%) are Military-Connected
Verizon is committed to supporting both the short-term survival and long-term success of small businesses. Through Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, social, and environmental advancement, Verizon will provide 1 million small businesses with resources to help them thrive in the digital economy by 2030. You can read more about the plan here.
Below, find a complete list of grant recipients and a description of their business in their own words.
Grand Prize Winner — $50,000
COO, Good Intentions Counseling | Seattle, WA
"Good Intentions was created on the foundation of culture, education, team, and community building. We work with under-served populations advocating for their human rights regardless of sex, color, or creed. We believe by educating and providing therapeutic services that are dignified and enriching to our client's lives and their communities we help eliminate stigmas that surround individuals seeking mental health care and/or have disabilities."
Read more about the Good Intentions Counseling in a separate blog feature here.
Runners Up — $25,000
APMonarch | Chicago, IL
"APMonarch is a Latinx- and woman-led architecture firm with expertise in sustainability and high-performance design. We provide architecture, interior design, sustainability consulting, and bilingual community engagement and public outreach. We are a small firm that delivers big results. Our firm is proudly composed of BIPOC and LGBTQ professionals. APMonarch designs architecture that feels good, looks good, and performs well. We've completed projects across the Chicagoland communities in commercial offices, healthcare clinics, higher ed, airports, and civic buildings."
Read more about APMonarch in a blog feature here.
Leaf & Ladle | Bellingham, WA
"We are a mother-daughter, woman-owned, and almost entirely woman-run business in downtown Bellingham, WA. We have a small restaurant, Leaf & Ladle, specializing in fresh ingredients and home-style soups, salads, wraps, paninis, etc. that we opened seven years ago and a cocktail bar, L&L Libations, focused on delicious, approachable food and drinks that we opened in November 2019 in the adjoining space next door. We believe in excellent customer service, menus that have options for everyone, treating our staff with respect and care, giving back to both our local community and the world at large, and most of all, creating a warm, comfortable environment where everyone feels safe and welcome."
Read more about Leaf & Ladle in a blog feature here.
Finalists — $10,000
Uptima Business Bootcamp | Oakland, CA
"Uptima Business Bootcamp is a cooperatively-owned business accelerator dedicated to providing diverse entrepreneurs with greater access to quality hands-on education, resources, and community to create thriving businesses. Our rigorous, culturally relevant education and business advising gives entrepreneurs of color the tools and support to build financial sustainability and personal success while creating positive social, environmental, and economic impact."
Warhol & Wall Street | Columbus, OH
"Warhol and Wall Street is an experienced creative engagement agency that unites people through shared experiences. W&W has a long history of helping brands, community, government organizations, and businesses large and small to cut through the clutter of traditional marketing tactics and #BEHEARD through the unique connection that W&W brings to each campaign by engaging our target customers and communities."
Route 40 Cafe | Denver, CO
"Route 40 Cafe is a locally-owned, community-forward restaurant that has been devastated by COVID-19. Route 40 Cafe supports as many local community organizations as possible, including many clubs at East High School, Dragutante, Colfax Avenue Business Improvement District, Congress Park Neighbors, Children's Hospital, and the Filipino-American Community of Colorado, just to name a few. In addition, the restaurant is registered as a Sanctuary Restaurant and open to all."
LinkMobile | Irvine, CA
"We are a tech-related company in the IoT (internet of things) segment. IoT enables businesses to automate repetitive tasks by attaching sensors to collect information, controllers to enable and action, and software to manage and collect data. We have two business units: IoT solutions and IoT consulting. Our products are used in a variety of businesses, most notably construction, agriculture, and transportation."
Thera-Care Rehab Services | Mission, TX
"Thera-Care Rehab Services is an outpatient rehab provider which offers physical, occupational, and speech therapy provider from newborn to geriatric patients. Our four clinics are located in Mission, Edinburg, and Pharr, which are cities located in Hidalgo county along the U.S.-Mexico border. We have been providing services to these communities since 2003. Our therapists work with patients with autism, cerebral palsy, PDD, ADHD, stroke, cardiac arrest, post-COVID-19 infection, vehicular accidents, sports injury, and other medical conditions."
Ann Marie Sochia
Silver Linings for Seniors | Cary, NC
"Silver Linings for Seniors provides mental health counseling services, including talk therapy, specialized for seniors, their families, and caregivers. At Silver Linings, we recognize seniors are an underserved population, and we help clients deal with life’s transitions, grief, loss, depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and adjusting to getting older. To adapt to COVID-19 safety measures, which are especially critical for seniors, we have expanded our services to include teletherapy offerings."
Fairview EyeCare | Allen, TX
"We are an optometrist office that provides care and management for eye diseases, injuries, infections, and vision correction services. Many of our patients are children and families on Medicaid or CHIP, and we are one of only three optometry practices seeing patients on these plans in our ZIP code. People need to see and being without good vision is a functional disability as well as a cause of severe depression. One of the early symptoms of COVID-19 is a "pink-eye" (viral conjunctivitis) infection, so by providing care, we can treat the eye issue and rule-out whether it is a quarantine-required condition."
Tyvola Design | Charlotte, NC
"Stargayzer offers marketing, advertising, and event planning services to for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations. Stargayzer Inc. does business as Tyvola Design and Buff Faye Presents. Our work has been featured locally and nationally for its innovative ideas and creativity. Prior to COVID, we hosted bi-weekly performance events and help plan special events across the City of Charlotte. In addition, our marketing and advertising clients span homebuilders to restaurants to higher education."
Rising Higher Staffing Solutions | Denver, CO
"Rising Higher Staffing Solutions is a temporary staffing, recruitment, training, and employment agency in Denver, Colorado. Prior to COVID-19, we employed over 1,000 community residents per year to work in catering, hospitality, and sports arenas in the Denver Metro area. The locations that our employees normally work at include Coors Field, Empower Field at Mile High Stadium, the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the National Western Complex, and many more that were and still are closed. We have hundreds of employees waiting to work, and this grant allows us to pursue leads in new industries including construction, labor, security, cleaning, and sanitation services."
Signature Perinatal Center | Fort Lauderdale, FL
"Signature Perinatal Center is a maternal fetal medicine practice that provides healthcare services to women with high-risk pregnancies. As only one of three maternal fetal medicine physicians in east Fort Lauderdale, I am glad that I am able to serve this community so that we can continue to care for high-risk pregnant women and improve the overall well-being of mothers and babies. I hope that by doing so, there can also be a measurable impact on maternal mortality, infant morbidity, and pregnancy complications."
Pat's Exotic Beverages | New York, NY
"Pat’s Exotic Beverages is a Bronx-based manufacturer and distributor of fresh Caribbean inspired juices and beverages. Sourcing the finest ingredients and inspired by recipes handed-down across cultures and generations, PEB’s authentic Caribbean inspired juices and beverages nourish a life well-lived. PEB is committed to uplifting its community by providing training, education, and employment to people who are new or returning to the workforce — including recent immigrants and re-entering citizens."
Min Cheng Hsu
Masters Automotive | Irvine, CA
"We are automotive brokers based in Irvine, California. Our company not only brokers new and pre-owned vehicles, but we also help our non-English speaking Korean community with consignment sales. With the help of this grant, we will be able to not only stay afloat in these unprecedented times, it will also help us expand out to bigger markets by the ways of creating more job positions for other non-English speaking markets."
Potomac Therapy Group | North Bethesda, MD
"Potomac Therapy Group is a premier psychotherapy practice in North Bethesda, Maryland, that provides specialized psychotherapy services to adults and teens. Our compassionate and individually-tailored mental health services provide connection and support to help our clients navigate uncertainty, process emotions, manage stress, and avoid isolation during COVID-19. We believe that high-quality mental health care is more important now than ever."
Bell & Iron Tattoo | Oakland, CA
"Bell & Iron offers permanent body art, with three artists and an apprentice. We take great pride in our community and want to continue to grow and develop with the greater Grand Lake area of Oakland. Our business has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and closure mandated by the local government. But we are hopeful we will be able to weather this storm and continue to provide a place of work for our artists and provide our artistic services and support to our community."
Go Buddha Meals | Rocky River, OH
"My wife and I started this plant-based company in 2019 to help friends and family. Her father was diagnosed with cancer, and as a chef, I wanted to help provide him recipes to use food to heal. Once the pandemic hit, we lost our jobs and health insurance and were forced to find another way to stabilize our family. We made a decision to turn our dream project into reality and formed our company Go Buddha. Built on the principles of Functional Medicine we have created a meal delivery and walk-in eatery to help increase the accessibility and affordability of plant-based foods."
Hush Studio Salon | Tampa, FL
"Hush Studio Salon is a full-service salon for male and female clients. We wanted our salon to be a relaxed environment that welcomes and services all walks of life, so the idea behind our salon was to remove to diva from the stylist and make hair about the client again. We opened our current location in 2016 to meet our growing demand. We specialize in color and hair extensions along with barbering for men."
Chocolate Inspirations | Roselle, IL
"Chocolate Inspirations is a mother-daughter specialty chocolate company. Together, we create handmade traditional and vegan chocolates and confections. When the pandemic started to shut businesses down in our state, we tried to stay positive as our sources of revenue began to disappear. We realized we could not save the world, but we could spread happiness and gratitude, one little chocolate pack at a time. When things appear to be dark, a little chocolate and a happy message can lift the spirits and make people smile."
Clique Salon & Spa | Burlington, NJ
"Clique Salon & Spa is a full-service Aveda concept salon and day spa. We have been in business 29 years. Our specialties include relaxers, weaves, massages, facials, and waxing. We are a small business but a mighty one. We have spawned many successful businesses from our organization. I would like to think that we have been a blessing to our community, clients, and team."
Reverent Coffee Company | Oakhurst, CA
"When my husband and I were 22, we had just graduated from college and both got jobs at the local coffee shop. We had worked at the coffee shop for two weeks when the old owners came up to us and asked us if we would like to buy it. And we did! From the beginning, one of our greatest missions has always been to provide people a space where community can happen. We added the roasting side of our business about two years ago. We love the art of roasting and coffee tasting. Our cafe also offers small eats and specialty coffee drinks."
Delyte | Miami, FL
"Delyte is an on-demand essential store. We have commercial vans that carry daily essentials. When a user places an order via our app, we can deliver almost instantly. We want to eventually turn our business into a franchise or an Uber model to allow others to have an opportunity to own their own business and make money. We are on our way to becoming a Miami-born Unicorn. Our customers absolutely love us and are loyal to us. We get several repeat business per month from our customers."
Nancy's Plumbing | Antioch, CA
"Women in the plumbing industry are not very common and neither is Nancy's Plumbing. Nancy's Plumbing is a family-owned business. We work as a team in our family. We are respectful, honest, and caring and extend that to each of our clients. Integrity is our motto. We are hardworking and believe that a solid business is one that pays a living wage and works within its means."
Soap Cauldron | Petaluma, CA
"Soap Cauldron is a family-owned business that makes Three Sisters Apothecary, a line of all-natural artisan bath and skin care. Our all-natural products are handmade in small batches with the finest gourmet butters, oils, botanicals, and pure essential oils. The art of alchemy transforms simple ingredients from nature into nourishing and gentle bath and skincare to enhance the bathing experience. These qualities in beautiful and sustainable packaging that allows customers to see and experience the product prior to purchase give us a really strong presence."
Agua Bonita | Hanford, CA
"Agua Bonita is the first brand of 100% real fruit, ready-to-drink aguas frescas. We take surplus produce and give it a new home by repurposing it into our healthy versions of a traditional Mexican drink — impacting food and plastic waste, uplifting migrant workers, and making a delicious drink all at once. Agua Bonita was born out of a need for products to enter the mainstream that helps close the circular farming cycle of food waste and plastic pollution, and as a celebration of our culture in a healthy, revamped way. When life gives you lemons, make aguas frescas!"
CloudNYC | New York, NY
"CloudNYC has released two products: the Cloud (Unscented) Butter and the Cocoa Cloud Butter. What makes these products stand out is how multi-faceted they are as they can be used for the hair, face, and body of anyone, regardless of age, hair type, and skin type. These products are fully natural, vegan, and hypoallergenic. We released both products intending to provide options for our customers. CloudNYC stands out as an enterprise in the way that it targets all types of people. Additionally, all products are handmade, homemade, and raw."
Rosa Guerrero Contreras
California Vegan Food Company | San Jose, CA
"California Vegan Food Company is a food manufacturer producing two versions of our plant-based protein in chickpea chick'n and black bean "beef" flavors. Our main sales channel is our neighborhood farmers market where we sell our packaged products and prepared foods like tacos, torts (Mexican sandwiches), burritos, and special Latin inspired dishes. We make plant-based meat products that look and taste similar to their animal flesh alternatives so that people don't have to think so hard about trying something new. When you try our product for the first time, you will be amazed that it's not meat and it was not created in a lab, rather a humble home kitchen."
Safely Delicious | Overland Park, KS
"I started Safely Delicious in 2015 to manufacture, packages, and sell one-of-a-kind, allergy-friendly products. Safely Delicious snack bites are also sweet and crunchy, gluten-free, vegan, cholesterol-free, have no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no preservatives, are low in sodium, and an excellent source of iron. Even though the ideal customer for Safely Delicious is anyone with food allergies, our snacks are DELICIOUS for EVERYONE to eat!"
K+G Mode Boutique | Monterey Park, CA
"K+G Mode Boutique is a Latina-owned business founded by two best friends from Los Angeles who are passionate about everything fashion. Being millennial women, we are continuously striving to live life with purpose, make a positive impact in the world, and empower others, especially women. Despite having college degrees and established careers, we were in search of something more. Naturally, because of our love for fashion and styling, we gravitated toward the fashion industry. K+G Mode Boutique was founded on the values of confidence, femininity, and fearlessness. Our collections cater to the modern and successful city women of the world. We intentionally curate collections that celebrate powerful, brave, and confident women."
Not Just for Boys Kit Club | Tucson, Arizona
"We are an online business specializing in scrapbooking supplies. We create kits that are unique to the industry. I had given up my career in order to fulfill my duty as a military spouse and mother. As a UCLA graduate, I have felt that my potential has never been achieved. This business has empowered me to finally reach for that potential while still allowing me the freedom to be home with my family. Having some financial help will be life-changing. It will give our business the chance to grow and succeed."
Tracy V. Green
Vontélle | New York, NY
"Vontélle is a unique brand in the luxury eyewear space, offering awe-striking, ethnic patterns reflecting African, Caribbean, and Latin cultures. The concept for Vontélle was born out of a need of both the founders, who each lost their expensive eyewear within the same year and decided to focus their efforts on making their next purchases from a Black-owned brand. After searching high and low for glasses that were stylish and had an ethnic flair, we realized they simply didn't exist. That's when I suggested we start our own line. Our eyewear is original, authentic, distinctive, and invites a conversation. Vontélle will add cultural richness to the marketplace in the tightly competitive industry that lacks African American ownership and strong presence."
Business Support Organizations
DivInc transforms the existing entrepreneur tech ecosystem into a more authentically inclusive environment. Through their efforts, they inspire, empower, and enable underrepresented founders to build successful high growth businesses.
Bunker Labs is a national network of veteran and milspouse entrepreneurs dedicated to helping the military-connected community start their own business. Data show 25% of transitioning service members want to start a business and they need places inside their community where they can connect with the people, resources, and support they need to start and grow their businesses. This organization is here for them!
NGLCC is the premier advocate on behalf of LGBT owned businesses, professionals, students of business, and corporations that share in our desire to expand the community's financial opportunities, economic growth, continued innovation, and equality. The NGLCC is also the exclusive, third-party certification body that verifies that eligible businesses are majority-owned by LGBT individuals, and subsequently grants Certified LGBT Business Enterprise designation to such businesses as part of its LGBT Supplier Diversity Initiative.
Read more about these business support organizations and how they plan to use this grant in a blog feature here.
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