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SBA's Ashley Bell & Rapper, Entrepreneur Tip "T.I." Harris Reached 100,000 Entrepreneurs

Goal was met in reaching 100k minority entrepreneurs to discuss COVID-19 recovery opportunities
Release Date: 
Thursday, May 21, 2020

ATLANTA – Yesterday evening, May 20th at 6:00 p.m. ET, Ashley D. Bell, SBA Regional Administrator and Entrepreneurship Policy Advisor for the White House Opportunity & Revitalization Council and Tip “T.I.” Harris, rapper, entertainer and entrepreneur, hosted a successful call for entrepreneurs across the South. The call addressed opportunities for recovery for historically distressed communities which have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. They successfully reached over 109,000 callers last night and had a reach of millions via social media outlets.

Ashley D. Bell, SBA Regional Administrator stated, “50 percent of black business owners have 0-10 days of working capital, and they do not have access to traditional banking facilities. Without this critical link to funding and opportunities and amidst the COVID-19 crisis, an entire generation of minority entrepreneurs could be lost.” He continued, “Our goal with 100,000 Strong is to organically reach entrepreneurs throughout the underserved communities of the South. We did this by working with the great speakers on the call.”

Tip “T.I.” Harris said, “This call was important to do because I believe it’s critical for us to be informed and get better educated on what we can do, how to do it and where to go to get it done, especially during times of crisis.  I simply did what I do best and that is connect the people with the information.”

The audience received a great deal of information, including hearing from local and state elected officials representing their constituents, lenders and experts in the financial fields. The list including Eddie George, Wealth Management Specialist and retired NFL player. John Hope Bryant, Founder & CEO of Operation Hope, moderated a conversation with chamber leaders, church leadership and non-profits to discuss the importance of these pillars on our communities and the importance of access to recovery capital for them. Entrepreneurs and small business counselors talked about their tickets to success.

For a complete list of speakers, please contact Lola Kress, SBA Regional Communications Director, (404) 330-4737 or lola.kress@sba.gov@sba.gov 

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration: The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.