At the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Stewardship & Finance Committee was concerned about our church’s finances in the coming months. Our Director of Finance and Operations, Kyna Shilling, applied for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) grant from the SBA to cover a possible shortfall, and we received it. We were very grateful.
However, we were aware that there were many small Black-owned businesses that would be in need of assistance too, but would not be able to qualify for a PPP grant for a variety of reasons. We looked at some of our church’s funds and accounts, and determined that we could share at least $15,000 to assist those businesses.
Representatives of the Stewardship & Finance Committee joined with representatives from the Love & Justice Committee to form a Community Investment Committee. We studied and contacted numerous Black-led community organizations to determine which one could best use our funds to support struggling Black-owned small businesses. We finally chose to send the funds to the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle. They will be using the funds both for small grants to such businesses to help them through these challenging times as well as for staff to support and guide these businesses. They were very appreciative of our support.
We are thankful to members of our congregation who have donated funds over the years so that we had money available for this special project.