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How Capital One is helping Black-owned businesses make a pandemic pivot

Posted at 4:59 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 17:41:50-04

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. -- Detra Hunt, the manager of Launch Trampoline Park in Midlothian, said like most businesses the park had to pivot during the pandemic. She said she was thrilled that Launch Richmond was selected to participate in a Capital One national mentorship program.

"There was a series of classes and they brought in various subject matter experts to educate businesses on the financing, marketing, spending, and the legalities of owning a business," Hunt said.

The goal, according to Reuben Essandoh with Capital One, was to enable local Black-owned businesses to gain important tools and knowledge they need to successfully rebuild from the pandemic. It's part of a $200 million, five-year commitment through their supplier diversity division to support growth in underserved communities.

"We are able to support them in doing an assessment for each of their businesses, to get a semblance of what their social media presence was like," Essandoh said. "Those were all beneficial because it really helped them to up their game and see where there were gaps and where they could maybe make some changes."

Hunt said one of the biggest benefits has been building solid networking relationships that she believes will continue long after her cohort graduates.

"How it has even developed me from a professional standpoint, it has been a great experience," she said.

"The benefit of investing in the local communities has a trickledown effect. But we do it beyond that. It really is something that in our core mission, we believe it's the right thing to do," Essandoh added.

The Richmond businesses were selected for the mentorship program through a partnership between Capital One and BLK RVA, a campaign started by Richmond Region Tourism and community leaders.

More than 100 Capital One associates are participating in the program, which has also been expanded to Northern Virginia and Plano, Texas.