Last year, AfroTech reported on the launch of American Express’ Coalition to Back Black Businesses committing $10 million to support Black entrepreneurship.

Today, the group has announced that it’s continuing that mission by awarding 25 small Black-owned businesses $25,000 in grants to support their long-term success and resilience just ahead of Black Business Month. According to the grantees, this funding goes a long way in helping these businesses survive and thrive in the wake of the pandemic.

“My business and life have done a full 180 since receiving support from the Coalition to Back Black Businesses program,” grant recipient Deandre Wade — owner of sports uniform company Fresh Sportswear — shared in a statement. “With the enhancement grant, I will be moving my business out of my living room and purchasing the tools and equipment needed to begin mass-producing our products.”

The Coalition to Back Black Businesses launched last September after a tumultuous year of small businesses closing and failing to recover from the effects of COVID-19. The multi-year grant and training initiative lended much-needed support to help empower small Black-owned businesses in their time of need.

In its nearly first full year, the Coalition’s partners distributed 600 grants to small Black-owned businesses across 33 U.S. states. Not only did American Express launch this effort, it also established a $1 billion action plan to advance racial and gender equity. Plus, the “100 for 100” program was created to offer adequate funding and resources to Black women entrepreneurs.

Now through 2024, American Express’ Coalition will distribute $5,000 grants to qualifying small Black-owned businesses each fall and also offer the opportunity for business-owners to apply for select $25,000 enhancement grants the following spring, a press release reports.

Additionally, grant recipients will also receive exclusive access to mentorship programs, training and online resources to help scale and manage their businesses.

This September, another slate of eligible U.S.-based small Black-owned businesses will have a chance to receive support through the next round of the Coalition’s 2021 grants. More information on how to apply to come.

To view the full list of current grantees and how their grants have impacted their businesses, click here.

For more information about the Coalition to Back Black Businesses, visit its website.