The Greater Houston Black Chamber is setting up the GHBC Foundation 501(c)3 Relief Fund to assist black-owned businesses in jeopardy from Hurricane Harvey.
GHBC is issuing a call-to-arms via an online campaign requesting funds for the relief effort. Within the next 24 hours, the GHBC website will have short applications for Houston business owners to complete to request access to the funds.
“We anticipate the requests to pours in and want to be in a position with funds to help,” said a representative from the GHBC via an emailed statement.
Houston is ranked the No. 1 city in America for fostering minority-owned businesses. A report revealed that 17.5% of the city’s businesses were minority-owned. Reasons cited for Houston being a fertile ground for black businesses include its relatively low startup costs; access to financial resources; and its diverse population.
If Hurricane Katrina is an indicator, recovery doesn’t bode well for many of the storm-ravaged black-owned small business in Houston. Over 60,000 black-owned businesses were walloped by Katrina and many never recovered. In Louisiana alone, Katrina impacted 20,000 black-owned businesses that generated over $800 million.
Founded in 1935, the GHBC was Houston’s first African American civic organization. It is dedicated to developing black-owned businesses in that city as well as creating outreach partnership opportunities in Houston’s black community.
This is a developing story and will be updated.