Providing $1.5 Million in Support Since 2021, Power Forward Continues to Empower Black-Owned Small Businesses Throughout New England with Financial Commitments, Alongside Marketing and Design Support
Boston, MA (December 15, 2023) – VistaPrint, the design and marketing partner to small businesses, and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, together with the NAACP, today announced a new cohort of Power Forward Small Business Grant program (“Power Forward”) recipients. Power Forward is designed to create a lasting impact through the economic empowerment of Black-owned small businesses across New England. This fourth round of Power Forward was made possible through a shared commitment of $250,000 from both VistaPrint and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation.
In total for this round, 18 Black-owned small businesses from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have received individual grants of $25,000, alongside opportunities to be featured on national co-branded platforms. In addition, each Power Forward recipient will receive customized design and marketing support from VistaPrint to help their business grow and thrive. This includes assistance designing new logos and branding materials and custom, one-of-a-kind merchandise, as well as marketing consultations from VistaPrint experts.
Recipients were surprised with grant announcements by various members of the Boston Celtics and VistaPrint teams, including NBA All-Star Jayson Tatum and Celtics Vice President of Team Operations and Organizational Growth and former WNBA player Allison Feaster through a mix of in-person and virtual visits. Each small business was selected for demonstrating a meaningful impact on their community and sharing a clear vision for how it will use the funds.
(Credit: Boston Celtics)
“We are proud to be part of a continued partnership with the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation and NAACP that not only provides funding for Black-owned businesses, but further empowers them with the marketing and design tools they need to grow their businesses and thrive over the long term,” said Emily Whittaker, EVP, North America and Global Marketing at VistaPrint. “Small businesses are the foundation of a strong community and economy and we are excited to partner with these 18 small businesses and provide the resources needed to cultivate lasting success.”
This round of Power Forward recipients represents several industries, including food & beverage, healthcare & wellness, beauty, education and transportation. Since launching in early 2021, Power Forward, has provided $1.5 million in support to nearly 60 Black-owned small businesses across New England.
“We are committed to assisting small businesses and doing our part to aid in their economic growth,” said Allison Feaster, Boston Celtics Vice President of Team Operations and Organizational Growth. “It has been rewarding to surprise the recipients and let them know they have been selected for the Grant alongside our partners VistaPrint and the NAACP, and learn the stories of these entrepreneurs and their communities.”
“The NAACP Boston Branch is thrilled to partner with the Boston Celtics Shamrock foundation and VistaPrint to support established and promising Black owned businesses. This commitment of the Celtics and VistaPrint is a clear example of the benefits of corporate investment in main street business growth. Now on our fourth cycle, the Power Forward grant program has been transformative for dozens of small businesses across New England,” said Tanisha Sullivan, NAACP Boston President.
“The NAACP is proud to continue our impactful partnership with VistaPrint and the Boston Celtics in our ongoing commitment to supporting Black-owned small businesses across the New England area,” said Yumeka Rushing, NAACP Chief Strategy Officer. “We remain dedicated to fostering economic empowerment within our communities, recognizing the vital role that Black-owned businesses play in the region and nationwide. As we embark on another year of our grant program, we eagerly anticipate the enduring impact and positive change these grants will bring to the small businesses of New England.”
More than 500 Black-owned small businesses from across New England applied for this round of Power Forward grants.
Power Forward recipients include (in alphabetical order):
- Black Owned Boston, Jae’da Turner (Boston, Mass.)
- Boston Professional Sound Inc, Steeve Louis-Charles (Waltham, Mass.)
- Brown and Coconut, Zeena Brown & Letisha Izuchi (Boston, Mass.)
- Brown Suga Stationery & Print Shop, Jaden Teixeira (New Bedford, Mass.)
- Connecting to Greatness, Kimatra Maxwell (Leominster, Mass.)
- Constant, Catherine York Powers (Portland, ME)
- Destiny African Market, Sola Ajao (Randolph, Mass.)
- Dee Dee Dynamo LLC, P. Oneeka Williams (Newton, Mass.)
- Hair It Is Barbershop, Daniel Garcia-Decoteau (Mattapan, Mass.)
- Hillside Harvest, Kamaal Jarrett (Canton, Mass.)
- J Enterprising Productions LLC (Modern Connections), Jenny Oliver (Pittsfield, Mass.)
- Lovie’s Farm, LLC, Matthew Mitchell (Middletown, Conn.)
- Moms in Power, Arlyana Bowie (Springfield, Mass.)
- MoonRock Enterprises LLC, Maria Prescod (Providence, RI)
- Salvaged Roots Hair & Beauty, Inc., Shanita Clarke (Dorchester, Mass.)
- Sweet Teez, Teresa Maynard (Dorchester, Mass.)
- sySTEMic flow, Jessica Sanon (Boston, Mass.)
- Tayla Made LLC, Tayla Andr (Boston, Mass.)
Please click here for full business overviews.
VistaPrint is the design and marketing partner to millions of small businesses around the world, empowering each one to live their dreams. For more than 20 years, we have helped small businesses look, work, and feel credible through high-quality marketing products and solutions that include signage, logo apparel, promotional products, flyers, postcards, business cards, websites and digital marketing. With VistaPrint, small businesses are able to create and customize their marketing with easy-to-use digital tools and design templates, or by receiving expert graphic design support.
About The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation
Through a social justice lens, the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation extends the reach of the Celtics Championship legacy into the New England community by serving families and children in need. On an annual basis, the Shamrock Foundation provides grassroots programming and strategic funding to local organizations serving marginalized populations. The Shamrock Foundation partners with socially responsible corporations and philanthropic individuals to grow its mission and reach throughout the community. The outreach unites, empowers, and uplifts the community by leveraging the power of sport and the Celtics global brand.
The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.
NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF – was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.