Two Jamaicans Win $10,000 through Broward Black Chamber’s Grant Program

Shaheewa Jarrett Gelin, Esq. President of Broward County Black Chamber of Commerce (second left) with Fiserv executives

Fiserv, a global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions, has teamed up with Broward Black Chamber to award small business entrepreneurs in Broward County grants of $10,000.

Local executives from the company gathered with the Founder and President of the Broward County Black Chamber of Commerce, Shaheewa Jarrett Gelin, Esq., and other local officials on Thursday, September 17th to launch its #Back2Business initiative in Broward County.

Fiserv has committed to awarding up to $10,000 to small, black businesses in Broward County, who have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus shutdowns. The company will give away a total of half a million dollars. Clearly, Fiserv has set a new standard to be followed by the other large corporations in Broward County and the South Florida region.

To the Broward County Black Chamber President, this was like a miracle.

“For Fiserv to step up in a time when help has stalled on the federal, state, and local levels for small businesses, is huge. I haven’t heard of any other large corporations giving back locally on this scale to black-run organizations,” she notes.

She also recognized how critical it was for Fiserv to infuse capital into black businesses. “41% of black business were permanently closed as of mid-April of this year, as compared to only  17% of white businesses. Black businesses have been devastated by the coronavirus,” Mrs. Jarrett Gelin noted during her speech at the event.

She also thanked the current Broward County Mayor, Dale Holness, for connecting Fiserv to the Chamber.

At the event, two small, black businesses were presented with $10,000 checks and a free Clover merchant system.  “We will be able to pay our rent and catch up on bills,” shared Michael and Chef Judith Able (born in Jamaica), the owners of Swirl Wine Bistro in Coconut Creek, FL, which as one of the recipients.

“Joining the Broward County Black Chamber was the best decision we made. They have been there for us with PPE and now this grant,” Michael Able continued.

The second business winner was Achsah’s Jamaican Bakery and Restuarant in North Lauderdale.

The Broward County Black Chamber has been working diligently through the pandemic to help its members get PPP funding, obtain sanitizer and PPE, and access grants. The Chamber announced the partnership with Fiserv on its social media pages on Monday, September 21st.

A company must be a small, black for-profit business based in Broward County, FL in order to be considered for a grant.


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