The Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce was awarded $100,000 by IKEA U.S. Community Foundation to donate to local Black-owned businesses and organizations working to support social justice, economic empowerment, and education initiatives in Black communities.
In 2020, IKEA U.S. Community Foundation created the IKEA Black Business Initiative to aid local Black-owned businesses and organizations with a donation of more than $900,000 in funding and product. In June 2020, The IKEA U.S. Community Foundation committed a total of $3 million to support organizations that were negatively and disproportionately impacted by civil unrest and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The IKEA U.S. Community Foundation’s Black Business Initiative is focused on making a tangible impact to support racial equity and inclusion in our workplace and society. Through local relationships, our ambition is to build a connection with neighboring businesses, entrepreneurs and organizations that support economic empowerment and equity for the Black community,” said Jeff O’Shaughnessy/IKEA Covina, Market Manager. “Together with our social justice partners, co-workers, customers, and communities, we can work to make meaningful and measurable change.”
“GLAAACC is proud to partner with The IKEA U.S. Community Foundation. Our dedication to growing and developing Black-owned businesses and our reputation for influencing public policies and creating equity for businesses made this a perfect match,” GLAAACC Chairman Gene Hale said. “During the pandemic, GLAAACC hosted workshops and held weekly meetings to keep our membership updated on local, state and county resources and economic strategies to stay viable.”
A few of GLAAACC’s signature programs and initiatives to promote and sustain Black-owned businesses and the community include:
- GLAAAACC Advocacy Initiatives – GLAAACC works to create and sustain a positive and constructive business environment in which all businesses can grow and flourish through lobbying efforts such as simplifying the city’s business tax system, fighting for more subcontracting opportunities for minority enterprises, and supporting education and workforce development.
- GLAAAACC Business Evolution Program – This nine-month intensive was created to assist small business members reach the next level of economic success. A cohort of businesses are mentored by GLAAACC’s corporate board members and go through a rigorous mini-business boot camp consisting of seven educational modules.
- GLAAACC Education Fund and Foundation – Each year, a dozen minority students who exhibit entrepreneurial aspirations/inclinations in addition to high academic achievement and significant community service contributions are selected. The Foundation enhances students’ individual and social successes by providing them with supplemental educational programming and business networking opportunities.
While specific Black Business Initiative grants are provided by the IKEA U.S. Community Foundation, local IKEA stores and units in the respective markets will also separately collaborate with grant recipients and local organizations to follow the impact of these funds and build relationships with these deserving organizations. IKEA US RETAIL LLC also committed to improving and accelerating internal efforts supporting the upward mobility of underrepresented co-workers across ethnicity, race and national origin, from both hourly and salaried roles, to ensure that diversity is reflected at all levels of the organization.
“GLAAACC’s robust membership, variety of partners as well as our initiatives and programs will enable us to use this generous award from the IKEA U.S. Community Foundation to support businesses whose work in the African American community is critical and will positively impact our economic sustainability for generations,” GLAAACC President Angela Gibson-Shaw said.
For more information on IKEA U.S., visit IKEA-USA.com. For more information on GLAAACC, visit glaaacc.org.