CLEVELAND — For years the Presidents’ Council has been helping minority-owned businesses. The council offers help with everything from financial resources to the connections the owners need to get off the ground and then succeed.
Karl Singleton Junior owns Foundation Transportation, a luxury transportation company. Because of COVID-19, his business has all but stopped.
"Our business went from doing about 100 rides per week to one, maybe two rides per week," he said.
Despite the slow down, Singleton Junior doesn’t forget the work the Presidents’ Council did to help him get to this point, saying "They're there to help people."
The group connected him with an accountant to help keep his finances in order and to get that business off the ground.
Now, the same pandemic that’s affecting Singleton Junior's company is also affecting the Presidents’ Council. Executive director Erica Penick says organizations are refocusing funds.
"That leaves small organizations like the Presidents Council at a disadvantage, she said. “We want to serve, that our mission, that's our goal, that's our passion, that's our desire. but if we can't save ourselves, then we cannot continue to support and save the small businesses that are so vital."
With less money coming in, less money is going out to help the businesses they serve.
There are 134 members in the business chamber, but Penick says they serve the community at large, especially African American businesses to ensure they survive. To help, people can either join the council or make a donation. There’s information on the Presidents’ Council website.