Three Black beauty business owners whose businesses were affected by the pandemic in New Jersey were picked by L’Oreal USA and the NAACP to receive $10,000 grants, the companies announced May 21.
Thirty Black entrepreneurs and small businesses nationwide were picked for the grants, which are part of L’Oréal USA’s Inclusive Beauty Fund.
In a survey of nearly 3,000 small businesses nationwide in February, H&R Block subsidiary Block Advisors found that 53% of Black business owners saw their revenue drop by half since the pandemic started, compared to 37% of white owners.
As Black businesses were disproportionately hit by the economic effects of the pandemic, the grant funding provides an opportunity to expand diversity and inclusivity in the beauty industry.
Grants were available to new or existing beauty businesses, including but not limited to salons, spas, barbershops, stylists, makeup artists, entrepreneurs, startup founders, haircare specialists and beauty schools.
“As a leader within the industry, it’s our responsibility to engage and offer support across the various sectors of beauty especially in challenging times,” said Angela Guy, chief diversity & inclusion officer, L’Oréal USA. “To have the ability to aid and amplify a small business, product or service is a point of pride for L’Oréal and I’m honored to initiate the first stage of Inclusive Beauty alongside the NAACP. We are thrilled to engage this network of beauty players.”
In New Jersey awards were given to Avian Regan of Manestream Beauty Bar in West Orange; Christiana Osawe of Touched Beauty Studios LLC in New Brunswick; and Teresa James of Virtuous Hair Studio in Edgewater Park.
L’Oréal USA sought the help of the NAACP to identify the most promising prospects in need of the investment.
“We are very proud of the partnership between L’Oréal USA and the NAACP to be able to award these 30 winners. Not only do they ensure these Black-owned beauty businesses can navigate through these challenging, unprecedented times, but the funds also support the continued growth and success of these businesses,” said NAACP Chief Strategy Officer Yumeka Rushing. “As the heartbeats of their neighborhoods, the longevity of these businesses is critical to supporting and uplifting entire communities. We look forward to seeing the exciting achievements these Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs accomplish over the coming years.”
In addition to one-time funding, L’Oréal USA will provide grantees with professional business development support from its beauty brands and its professional beauty products distributor, SalonCentric.