It’s the best act of service when professional athletes support their teams’ cities. In partnership with FTX, Udonis Haslem is showing love to both his home team and hometown.
The Miami Heat veteran’s foundation has joined the cryptocurrency exchange firm to provide two POC business owners with $50,000 grants, according to Miami Herald. The funding aims to help small minority-owned Miami businesses flourish while being subjected to the negative impact of gentrification in the city’s neighborhoods.
“You’re bringing in bigger chains and the businesses that have survived in these communities for a long time have a different kind of competition,” said Haslem, according to Miami Herald. “They don’t have access to business plans and marketing and the financial backing (needed) to sustain in gentrified areas.”
Being deeply in tune with Miami, it was far from a challenge to know the ways in which fellow natives need assistance. Being from the city and a longtime resident, the issues hit close to home for Haslem. Both factors bring even more force to the action taken to help out how he can.
“I don’t have to read about what people are going through or be on Instagram,” he said, according to the outlet. “When I’m not working, I still have family, my grandmother and my homeboys (in the community). I’m still ten toes down with the people. For me, the easiest way to understand the needs for what’s going on is being there with them.”
Interested applicants are asked to submit a video pitch of “why they should receive grant funding, how they would use the money and how it would benefit them overall,” the Miami Herald reports.
For businesses to be deemed as eligible to apply, the requirements are as follows:
- Have to be at least 51 percent owned by women or people of color
- Have fewer than 500 employees
- Be in the retail or hospitality industries
- Be willing to integrate cryptocurrency as a method of payment
- Have been actively operating for at least 12 months and show proof of annual revenue of at least $1 million
To apply, click here.