First-of-its-kind program invests in Black businesses and nonprofits

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque City Council approved a $1 million program to help local Black businesses and nonprofits. The goal is to invest in the community and provide sustainable growth for years to come.

“We want to help those startup businesses by giving them that education and the training that they need to be successful with their business. Also, we want to do different opportunities where there’s like a pay it forward, where we do investments that’s going to keep coming back into the Black community,” said Nicole Bedford, with One ABQ Fund.

The fund will be split up into two parts for businesses and nonprofits to apply to.

“One of our main goals was also to really provide a support for our businesses, because we are a part of the community here in Albuquerque, and that also means we’re a big part of employing people,” said Ayanna Freeman, with One ABQ Black Investment Fund.

It’s not just businesses that already have an economic footprint that are part of this initiative.

“To jumpstart to sustainability in the community, this fund plays an important role. And in making this money available to you know within our community, we will be able then to help bridge that access uh for the future and I think that’s an important and valuable role that this fund is going to play,” said Jim Harvey, with the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice.

The system hasn’t always been fair, access to grants are limited, but now Black businesses and nonprofits should have a seat at the table.

“Our business presence, and our nonprofit presence is much larger than 2.9% of the population,” Harvey said.

Thanks to this fund, they will have more access to the resources.

“We have a responsibility to our community. We have a responsibility to make sure our economy is also working like it should,” Freeman said.