Hennessy launches 3M grant to help small businesses and nonprofits

Entrepreneurs that have been impacted negatively because of the coronavirus are encouraged to apply to receive financial support

Hennessy Unfinished Business theGrio.com
Hennessy Unfinished Business (PR submitted)

When you think about Hennessy, you probably think about partying at social hour or entertaining at a private affair. However, the cognac brand many Black Americans love offers more than just a good time — the company now wants to invest in small businesses with a new grant.

As a family business spanning three centuries, the brand’s $3 million initiative is called Unfinished Business.

READ MORE: Hennessy partners with Thurgood Marshall College Fund for $10 million graduate program

Unfinished Business is a new campaign from the 255-year-old beverage company that has committed to helping companies that have negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Many small businesses and nonprofits have suffered financially during the global COVID-19 crisis, but the Unfinished Business initiative wants to lend support.

Starting this June, the company will tap industrial and social entrepreneurs who will give capital to help nurture visions of business owners disproportionately affected by the health and/or economic consequences of the nation’s new reality. The hope? Is that a little zap of cash can help them over the hump so that 2020 is not a complete waste.

“Hennessy has always valued the spirit of resilience and this is what these small businesses represent,” Laurent Boillot, chief executive officer of Hennessy, said. “We do not want these pillars of community to succumb to the current global pandemic and are offering our support to help them continue pushing forward.”

In celebration of those selected to take part in this grant-initiative, Hennessy has commissioned African American film director Haley Anderson and she lifted the voices of seven minority small business owners who are weathering the storm.

Hennessy Unfinished Business theGrio.com

Hennessy Unfinished Business (PR provided)

Hennessy has already tapped One Hundred Black Men because of their outstanding work in the Black community.

“Built for community by community, Unfinished Business is an extension of our legacy supporting multicultural consumers and underscores our ‘Never stop. Never settle.’ ethos,” said Giles Woodyer, senior vice president of Hennessy. “We want to do all that we can to help the small businesses survive the current crisis and pledge resources for the long term; as long as they have unfinished business to settle, so do we.”

Michael J. Garner, the president of the founding chapter of One Hundred Black Men of New York, recognizes that the grant will help them going into neighborhoods in dire need and remain active.

“COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the nation’s small business community, and in many cases, Unfinished Business will provide much-needed support and assistance,” he explained. “The founding chapter of One Hundred Black Men applauds Hennessy for recognizing that small businesses are the soul of America.”

READ MORE: Kenya governor adds bottles of Hennessy to coronavirus care packages

Further, the initiative will be a portal that provides “ongoing access to information, educational content, and other resources to safeguard business continuity during the crisis and beyond.”

Eligible businesses can submit their applications starting now until Wednesday, July 1st by visiting UnfinishedBusiness.US.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s new podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!