Verizon Small Business Digital Ready $10000 Grant

Business Jul 10, 2023

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Three entrepreneurs share how they used a $10,000 grant and free courses through Small Business Digital to dramatically improve their businesses.

Verizon Small Business Digital Ready $10000 Grant

Verizon Small Business Digital Ready $10000 Grant

The Small Business Digital Ready program helps small businesses thrive in the digital economy. Through this initiative, and in partnership with LISC, a national community development nonprofit, small business owners are offered the opportunity to apply for a $10,000 Small Business Grant. In 2022, the company has committed to more than $1 million in grants exclusively for Small Business Digital Ready users. Here, three of them share how they used their funds and the new knowledge gained from Digital Ready courses to significantly grow their businesses.

Small Business Grants To Keep On Your Radar

Ahmad and Ansi Moghaddam (left) own ASM Education Center in Rockville, Maryland, along with their daughter Azita (right) and son Hamed (right). Credit: Tanya Fernandez

Verizon Small Business Digital Ready $10000 Grant

After immigrating to the United States from Iran, Ahmad and Ansi Moghaddam, along with their grown son and daughter, founded the ASM Education Center (ASM) in Rockville, Maryland in 1992. Since then, the family business has trained more than 38,000 professionals in IT and other technical skills. “We’re proud of our heritage and the opportunity to help so many people,” says Ency. Due to the pandemic, the center’s client base has shrunk and switched its face-to-face courses to virtual learning. Azita Moghaddam, Account Director and daughter of Ansi and Ahmad, was instrumental in helping transform the business when she applied for and received a Digital Ready grant. Q. How has the grant helped support ASM? A. To be honest, this win felt so good and confirmed that we are still on the right track. With the help of the grant, we also put a little more capital into our co-op to keep the office customer-focused and increase instructor salaries. Currently, ASM is reaching new levels of success and expanding vital programs, including vocational training for Afghan refugees. Q. Have other Digital Ready resources helped ASM? A. I have taken several courses on revenue generating activities, procurement pathways for MWBEs and business planning. After taking the Contingency Planning: Making Your Business Resilient course, I felt a shift in consciousness. I am now very enthusiastic to embrace the future and accelerate the implementation of the family business continuity plan. A. What do you think is the key to making a family business work? A. To love and support each other unconditionally and to know that we are truly living up to our motto, changing lives through education. That’s why we work every day and why my 89-year-old dad still comes to work to inspire all our students, especially our youth.

Jaja Chen and Devin Lee founded their premium dumpling and chai bean company Cha Community in 2018. Based in Waco, Texas, the business is focused not only on building community, but also on creating delicious products. Chen and Li were just opening their second cafe when the pandemic hit, which inspired Chen to apply for the grant. Q. How has the pandemic affected the opening of your new establishment? A. At first, everything went according to plan. But when construction costs skyrocketed, we found we needed more funds to complete the project. How did the grant help Cha Community at that crucial moment? A. Grant was a game changer for our small business. We have had trouble using federal relief dollars due to COVID-19 and as a result have had limited cash flow as the pandemic has put pressure on our business. With the help of the grant, we were able to complete our coffee shop in Temple, Texas without going into debt. It was simply a necessary aid to offset construction costs and keep the project operational. We successfully opened in March 2022. Q: How is the business progressing? A. The downtown temple really welcomed us and gave us a lot of support. We are now focused on increasing the number of catering events and food trucks in the communities we are a part of. We are also increasing the level of leadership development within the company and plan to expand the cha community in Central Texas.

Verizon Small Business Digital Ready $10000 Grant

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Joe Alvarez (left) and Eric Casillas (right) are co-owners of iCareClean in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Miguel Alvarez

Joe Alvarez and Eric Casillas launched iCareClean in Los Angeles, California in 2016. In just six years, they grew their office cleaning business from one client to over 100 and expanded to include event cleaning services. The pandemic has caused difficulties for entrepreneurs as client offices have closed and demand for collections has plummeted. Fortunately, Alvarez and Casillas worked with LISC, where they both gained new business skills and learned about Small Business Digital Ready. Alvarez applied for and received a $10,000 grant. Q. How has the grant helped your company during the pandemic? A. When the pandemic hit, we had to change our way of thinking. After completing the courses and receiving the grant, we invested in our digital marketing strategy. Our approach has become more Google advertising in online search results as well as social media. Q. What are the implications of your digital marketing investment? A. One search engine campaign allowed our business to rank for various area-related searches. As a result, 20 additional customers appeared. The company is currently targeting $3 million in revenue this year. Q: What does success mean to you and your family? A. Owning a business and being able to take care of my two sons and encourage their growth and development has meant everything to me. My daily affirmations to them are: love, serve and forgive in a big way. Always stay focused and maintain integrity. The Small Business Digital Ready program provides free personalized courses, real-time coaching, networking, micro-mentoring and grant opportunities to eligible small businesses. To register for this free program, click here.

Verizon Small Business Digital Ready $10000 Grant

This story features grant recipients Jaje Chen and her husband Devin Lee, founders of premium tea and dumpling company Cha Community in Waco, Texas.

Verizon Continues To Help Advance Digital Equity Across Hispanic Small Businesses

Earth Day – April 22 – is a great opportunity to celebrate this beautiful planet we call home. It’s time to get outside and volunteer to create a cleaner, greener world. The Verizon Small Business Program recently announced its latest round of grant funding. The grant program is in partnership with LISC and through it, Verizon Small Business Digital Ready has awarded $1 million in small business grants for 2023.

Verizon Small Business Digital Ready $10000 Grant

To be eligible for grants, you must first join the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready program. It is free.

With VSBDR, you’ll not only get access to courses, live coaching sessions led by industry experts and other resources, but you’ll also be able to apply for an exclusive $10,000 small business grant pool.

Verizon Small Business Digital Ready $10000 Grant

Ung Announces Partnership With Queens Chamber Of Commerce To Help Small Businesses Thrive

To unlock an application for the current round of grant funding, sign up for Verizon Small Business Digital Ready, complete any combination of two courses, coaching events, and community events and apply by May 12, 2023.

Last year, we reached out to Briana Allison, Verizon’s Director of Community Engagement, as part of our Verizon Small Business Digital Ready initiative for entrepreneurs and business owners. She talked about some of the marketing tools, one-on-one mentoring and other aspects of the program that can help small businesses in Michigan and the Great Lakes region.

Verizon Small Business Digital Ready $10000 Grant

Verizon is actively involved with Michigan’s small businesses. We are members of numerous chambers of commerce and associations throughout the state that work with small businesses (such as Detroit Regional Chamber, Grand Rapids Chamber, Dearborn Chamber, Right Place, MI Chamber, Automation Alley, Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance, Association of Business – MI incubators). Verizon participates in a number of leadership events in these organizations to share experiences and resources with their members.

Small Business Grants

In 2021, we awarded a grant to Grand Valley State University’s Veterans Entrepreneurship Lab. Veterans and/or military spouses work to launch their business for three months. MVE-Lab empowers participants to identify their target customers, network with others, and find the resources they need to launch a profitable and successful startup. It culminates in a Pitch Showcase with a prize pool of at least $25,000. Guests include other veteran entrepreneurs, mentors and experts such as lawyers and marketing professionals, including the leader of the Verizon Veterans Resource Group, who shared information about Verizon’s support for small business owners, as well as his personal experiences as an entrepreneur.

Verizon Small Business Digital Ready $10000 Grant

In 2021, we also established partnerships between the Verizon Pro Bono Program and the Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance’s Capital Connect Program. This program prepares and connects Metro Detroit Black businesses to various funding sources to ensure their sustainable success. Should any of these companies require additional legal assistance or one-on-one support, the Verizon Pro Bono Program team has agreed to work directly with these companies to identify additional legal services.

Finally, Verizon launched Small Business Digital Ready in September. It’s online

Verizon Small Business Digital Ready $10000 Grant

National Resources For Small Businesses During Covid 19

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