The Columbus/Bartholomew branch of the NAACP has partnered with several financial institutions to create the Bartholomew County Targeted Investment in Minority Entrepreneurs (TIME) program, a resource initiative for Black-owned businesses.

The TIME program includes personal and business development opportunities, grants and loans, according to The Republic.

NAACP Columbus/Bartholomew Branch president Johnnie Edwards says they are committed to helping bridge the wealth gap in their community.

“Working together on this vision builds relationships and economic longevity for the Black community within Bartholomew County,” he said.

The program’s financial partners include Cummins, Inc., who is offering support of Black-owned businesses with a $150,000 grant as part of its Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity (CARE) initiative. Cummins is also distributing $3 million to aid Black-owned businesses in Minneapolis, Memphis and Indianapolis, according to The Republic.

First Financial Bank is providing a micro-loan of $100,000 and a grant to support administrative costs. The Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce is also offering administrative funding and a 50 percent discount to TIME participants.

Interested business owners must visit the NAACP website to apply or attend a virtual kickoff event taking place on March 16.