The National Basketball Association (NBA) and LegalZoom, an online platform for legal services are teaming up to create “Fast Break for Small Businesses.”
The Fast Break for Small Businesses Initiative will award $6 million in grants and LegalZoom services to support thousands of small businesses across the country. The initiative plans to change the game by removing barriers minorities, women, immigrants and the LGBTQ face trying to start and maintain a small business.
Former NBA All-Star Grant Hill is serving as an ambassador to the Fast Break for Small Business initiative believes LegalZoom and the NBA is working to help small business owners.
“Small businesses across the country are really the heart and soul of who we are as Americans. They’re the life blood of our country and right now they’ve been through some tough times,” Ambassador Grant Hill said in a statement. “I know first-hand the challenges and difficulties that exist with being a small business owner. But I also am impressed with the resiliency, the toughness and the commitment necessary to be successful. To be able to support and provide services and to be there for them, that’s a great feeling and something we all should be proud of.”
NPR reports between March 2020 and June 2021, more than 440 thousand small businesses were started. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are more than 32.5 million small businesses across the country that employ almost half (47%) of the private workforce.
The majority of new small business owners are people from underrepresented communities and more than two-thirds of small business owners agree that minority small business owners face more challenges than White business owners.
LegalZoom CEO Dan Wernikoff said in a statement that the company mission is to help small business owners thrive and the initiative is just one of the ways it helps to achieve it.
“Our mission at LegalZoom is to democratize law in ways that help all small business owners thrive,” Wernikoff said. “Our commitment to promote social equality and economic inclusion align perfectly with the values of the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League. The ‘Fast Break for Small Business’ program accelerates our ability to support both new and existing small businesses while reducing the endemic inequalities in the financial and legal systems.”
Applications for the first round of grants for the “Fast Break for Small Business” initiative are open through November 23, 2021 here. Grants and services will be awarded twice a year for the next three years and the first round of grantees will be announced in early 2022.