Charleston Area Alliance Announces Recipients of Women and Minority-Owned Small Business Pilot Grant Program

Thursday, January 20, 2022

7 Charleston Businesses Received Grant Funds

The Charleston Area Alliance has announced the recipients of small business grants through a pilot program targeted to existing women and minority-owned small businesses located within the City of Charleston. Grant recipients received mini-grants ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. Funds will be used for business expansion efforts, equipment investments, inventory purchases and marketing expenses. 

About the 2021 Grantees:

  • Appalachian Tea, Sasha Strader
  • Blackwater Press, Elizabeth Ford
  • Braids & Twists, Rebecca Cobourne
  • Centered Pilates, Amy Teter
  • EchoLit, Jeanne Stevenson
  • Fun Fitness Kids Club, Traci Phillips
  • Manchin’s Greenhouse, Tara Manchin

“The Alliance is pleased to be providing this type of growth and development support to local small businesses,” stated Nicole Christian, President and CEO of the Charleston Area Alliance. “Women and minorities have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and these entrepreneurs traditionally face additional hurdles when trying to access business capital. These grant funds reflect our commitment to creating opportunity and building equity in our region.”

The Pilot Grant Program for Women and Minority-Owned Small Businesses was developed to help existing women and minority-owned small businesses expand by increasing profitability. The pilot is specifically for small businesses located within the city limits of Charleston. An independent panel selected the grant recipients. The program is in partnership with the City of Charleston Mayor’s Office, Charleston Community Participation Grant Program, Truist Financial Corporation, Verizon Economic Development Fund and contributions from Charleston City Council Members Becky Ceperley, Mary Beth Hoover and Naomi Bays.

“We hope to continue and expand the program county-wide in 2022 if adequate funding is secured,” said Christian. 

The Charleston Area Alliance is a multi-faceted economic, business and community development organization as well as the largest regional Chamber of Commerce in West Virginia. The Alliance attracts and retains innovative industries and workforce, revitalizes urban spaces and improves Charleston, West Virginia and the Kanawha Valley through a unified mission and strategic goals. Learn more about Alliance programs and events at