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Three entrepreneurs share how they took advantage of $10,000 in grants and free classes through Small Business Digital.
Verizon Small Business Grant 2023 Application
Small Business Digital Readiness helps small businesses thrive in the digital economy. As part of this initiative, and in partnership with national community development nonprofit LISC, small business owners are being offered the opportunity to apply for a $10,000 small business grant. By 2022, Small Business has pledged more than $1 million in grants to digitally ready users alone. Here, three of them share how they used their funds and what they learned from their digital prep course to significantly advance their careers.
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Ahmed and Ansi Moghadam (left), owners of ASM Education Center in Rockville, Maryland, with their daughter Azita (right) and son Hamed (right). Credit: Tania Fernandez
After moving to the United States from Iran, Ahmed and Ansi Moghadam earned their Ph.D.s in 1992 with their grown son and daughter. Since then, home businesses have trained more than 38,000 professionals in IT and other technical skills. “We are proud of our heritage and the opportunity to help so many people,” Ensi said. Due to the pandemic, the center’s customer base has shrunk and moved their classes to virtual classes. Ensi and Ahmed’s customer manager and daughter Azita Moghadam actively helped transform the company when she applied for digital readiness assistance. Q: How does this grant help support ASM? A: To be honest, this win felt great and proved that we are still on track. With the grant, we also made a small investment in our general operations to maintain a customer-facing office and cover faculty salaries. ASM is now charting new successes and expanding key programs such as vocational training for Afghan refugees. Q: Have other digital resources helped ASM? A: I have attended several courses including Income Generation Activities, Acquisition Pathways for MWBEs and Business Plans. I experienced a mental shift after completing the Unexpected Planning: Enduring Your Business Course. I now embrace the future and accelerate my ongoing plans for a home business. Q: What would you say is the key to running a home business? A: To love and support each other unconditionally and to know that we truly live our motto, to change lives through education. That’s why we work hard every day and my 89-year-old father still comes to work to inspire all our students, especially our youth.
Jaja Chen and Devin Lee started Cha Community in 2018, a premium pour and boba tea company. Based in Waco, Texas, the company focuses on building community as much as creating delicious products. Chen and Lee were in the process of opening their second cafe when the flu hit, encouraging Chen to seek help. Q: How did the pandemic affect the opening of your new location? A: In the beginning, things went according to plan. But as construction costs skyrocketed, we realized we needed more funding to complete the project. Q: How did this grant help the Cha community at the time? A: This grant was a game changer for our small business. We have been challenged to ride the wave of COVID-19 federal relief, resulting in limited cash flow due to pressure on our spread business. With the help of the grant, we were able to complete the construction of our Boba Tea Cafe in Temple, Texas without taking on more debt. It was just the help needed to cover the construction costs and keep the project afloat. We successfully opened in March 2022. Q: How is the business? A. The downtown temple has really welcomed us and supported us tremendously. Our focus now is to increase catering and food truck bounce events in the communities we serve. We are also strengthening leadership development within the company and plan to expand the tea community throughout Central Texas.
Verizon Small Business Digital Ready — The Staten Island Chamber Of Commerce
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 2016 in Los Angeles, USA. In just six years they have grown their office cleaning business from one client to over 100 and expanded into event cleaning services. The pandemic has created difficulties for entrepreneurs as client offices are closed and the demand for cleaning has fallen dramatically. Fortunately, Alvarez and Casillas worked with LISC, where they both gained new business skills and learned about small business digital readiness. Alvarez applied for and received a $10,000 grant. Question: How has this grant helped your business during the pandemic? A: After the pandemic, we had to change our way of thinking. After taking the course and getting help, we invested in our digital marketing strategy. Our approach has led to more Google ads in web search results as well as social media. Question: What has been the impact of your digital marketing investment? A: A search engine campaign allows our business to rank in relevant searches around. This resulted in 20 additional customers. The company is now targeting $3 million in revenue this year. Q: What does success mean to you and your family? A: Having the ability to start a business and look after and encourage my two sons as they grow up means everything. My daily acknowledgment to them is to love, serve and forgive the elders. Always be focused and honest. Small Business Digital Prep offers qualified small businesses free in-person tutorials, live coaching, networking, micro-mentoring and support opportunities. Click here to sign up for this free program.
This story profiles Jaja Chen and her husband Devin Lee, the founders of Cha Community Premium Boba Tea and Dumplings in Waco, Texas.
Small Business Digital Ready $10,000 Business Grant Webinar
Earth Day April 22nd is the perfect opportunity to celebrate this beautiful planet we call home. It’s time to get out and volunteer to build a cleaner, greener world. LISC is back with a $10,000 grant program in partnership with Verizon. LISC has awarded thousands of grants since the program launched in 2020, and grants are now being applied for this year.
If you are interested in applying quickly, you can track this Verizon $10K grant and view the application here. Watch a step-by-step video from Ryder. Take a quick look at other grants and funding options on the Skip app.
Verizon’s $10,000 grant application deadline is May 12. Due to the course requirements, the application process can seem daunting at first
Announcing New $10,000 Small Business Grant Opportunities
First, log into the Verizon website and answer a few questions about your business.
After completing onboarding on the Verizon website, you will be shown a recommended course on the Verizon Course Portal. Most courses are said to take around 30 minutes, but you can complete each one in minutes, especially if you have basic business acumen.
In general, the courses have good information, so here are some courses that will help you with your business if you want to go beyond the above.
Steps To Apply For A Small Business Grant
After completing 2 lessons, which you can do in a few minutes, you “lock” the program. You can see this at the top of the page. Now click Apply to run the program.
This program starts with all grant applications – your information, your business information, how you identify yourself, and how you plan to use the funds.
Then there are two free questions at the end, where the program asks how you can influence your company and your community. Although optional, please take the time to answer them. Verizon’s Small Business Digital Readiness Program is a flagship online course that gives small business owners the tools to optimize their digital presence and succeed in today’s digital world.
Dri Application — The Staten Island Chamber Of Commerce
Friends: While I usually reserve this space to highlight recent episodes of Verizon’s Community Partnership Conversation Series, I took a brief opportunity to take a moment to talk about one of our new programs, Verizon Small Business Digital Readiness, a series of $10,000 programs recently offered through the program.
Important note: To be eligible to apply for this grant, members must complete two on-site courses or coaching activities between 1 January and 30 June 2022. So apply by 30 June 2022.
If you are an existing Verizon customer, you will need to create a new account for Verizon Small Business Digital Prep.
Verizon Supports Small Businesses In Big Ways.
Verizon is proud to introduce the Verizon Small Business Digital Readiness Program: a free online course designed to empower small websites.
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