On February 4, the ODP Corporation, a leading provider of business services, products and digital workplace technology solutions through an integrated B2B distribution platform, announced the launch of Elevate Together™ powered by Round It Up America®, a new nonprofit initiative designed to help accelerate the creation, growth and prosperity of Black and Hispanic-owned small businesses. In collaboration with the National Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Centers and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), Elevate Together™ will help to deliver impactful, measurable and scalable support services that foster business creation and growth opportunities for Black and Hispanic small businesses with five or less employees. 

As part of this initiative, eligible small business owners will gain access to educational workshops, training and mentorship services, professional networks and more. Businesses may also be eligible to receive aid in the form of cash grants, products and services.

“We strongly believe that in a society where the playing field is level, Black and Hispanic small businesses will play a vital role in restoring the health of our economy and in driving long-term wealth creation across North America,” said Gerry Smith, chief executive officer for The ODP Corporation. “With support from our associates, customers, community partners and other like-minded corporations, we hope to continue to foster new opportunities for minority-owned small businesses, to help them prosper and get the resources they need to better compete in today’s marketplace.”

In keeping with its longstanding history of serving local community businesses and as the founding partner of Elevate Together™, The ODP Corporation is proud to pledge an initial investment of $250,000, which will help to launch the initiative in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and South Florida.

“Small businesses are key to job creation, and through the work of the National Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Centers Program, current and prospective entrepreneurs in underserved communities across the country are being empowered to establish new ventures every day,” said Marc H. Morial, president and chief executive officer for the National Urban League. “This partnership with Elevate Together™ powered by Round It Up America® will help us provide additional services that will impact and improve the lives of many Black business owners for years to come.”

According to a recent survey from the National Association for Business Economics, 73% of surveyed forecasters believe that the economy will not return to its pre-pandemic level until the second half of 2021. To help strengthen local communities and foster job creation during this challenging time, it is now more important than ever to provide minority-owned small businesses with access to essential business resources and direct financial investments.

“At the USHCC, we are proud to advocate for Hispanic-owned businesses to foster economic development and build sustainable prosperity for our American economy,” said Ramiro A. Cavazos, president and chief executive officer for the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “We’re excited to help launch this new initiative, championed by The ODP Corporation, and look forward to expanding our services and reach to support America’s diverse small business owners through our network of chambers during this time of economic recovery.”

Source: ODP