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April 22, 2024

Pressley, Warren Celebrate $1M Secured for Black Economic Council of Massachusetts

Critical Funds Will Aid BECMA’s Efforts to Support Small Black-Owned Business and Black Entrepreneurs

Photos (Dropbox) | Video (YouTube)

BOSTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) visited Nubian Square in Roxbury for a roundtable discussion to celebrate the $1,000,000 million in federal funding they secured for the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA). The funding will help BECMA’s efforts to support small Black-owned businesses and Black entrepreneurs through technical assistance and other tools and services.

“For generations, Black families have been systematically denied the opportunity to build wealth, and this precise, intentional federal investment in our Black small business owners and entrepreneurs will help us close the glaring racial wealth gap right here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts” said Rep. Pressley. “As representative for one of the most unequal districts in this country, I am proud to have secured this robust funding alongside my colleague Senator Warren to help our communities thrive.”

“BECMA’s work to help address the Black wealth gap in the Commonwealth is powerfully important, and this federal funding that Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Senator Markey and I helped secure is one of the best ways we can continue to support BECMA’s crucial mission of supporting Black-owned businesses,” said Sen. Warren. “I was delighted to celebrate this funding today and I’m going to keep fighting for federal investments and efforts to help close the Black wealth gap.”

Congresswoman Pressley and Senator Warren were joined at the roundtable by BECMA President Nicole Obi and Black small business owners supported by BECMA’s Back Office Support Services (BOSS) program.

“The Black Economic Council of Massachusetts is thankful for Congresswoman Pressley and Senator Warren’s leadership in securing BECMA $1 million in federal funding to help us continue our work to build and sustain Black wealth across the Commonwealth,” said Nicole Obi, President and CEO at the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts. “This critical funding supports BECMA’s Back Office Support Services (BOSS) program, which provides our members with access to working capital grants, digital tools, and professional services to help them launch and scale their firms.”

“We are so grateful to Congresswoman Pressley and Senator Warren for prioritizing support for small, diverse businesses like ours,” said Denise O’Marde, Owner of Cafe Juice Up in Mattapan. “We are also deeply appreciative to our BECMA family for providing us access to the critical resources and services that help us stabilize our operations and thrive.”

“Thank you to Congresswoman Pressley and Senator Warren for advocating for organizations like BECMA that support Black-owned businesses,” said Shana Bryant, Founder and CEO of Shana Bryant Consulting. “BECMA has provided invaluable support to my firm that expanded our HR infrastructure and capacity, including a $10,000 BOSS grant that helped to cover the interest for a financing loan.”

“Thank you to BECMA for providing support for my business at a critical time and to Rep. Pressley and Senator Warren for their leadership,” said Abdllahi “Mash” Abdirahman, Founder and Owner of Butterfly Falafel. “I encourage them to continue to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in their work and to ensure that federal funding reaches Black businesses and communities directly.”

Footage from the roundtable and press conference can be found here, and photos are here.

Rep. Pressley secured the federal funding for the program in the Fiscal Year 2023 government spending package that passed Congress and was signed into law by President Biden in December 2022. Rep. Pressley has secured approximately $35 million in federal community project funding for the Massachusetts 7th since Fiscal Year 2022.

  • On March 28, 2024, Rep. Pressley visited Roxbury to celebrate the $1,000,000 in federal funding she secured to provide emergency childcare support for families experiencing homelessness in the City of Boston.
  • In February 2024, Rep. Pressley visited Chelsea City Hall for a roundtable and press conference to celebrate the $750,000 in federal funding she secured for the City of Chelsea’s and City of Everett’s Island End River Coastal Flood Resilience Project.
  • In January 2024, Rep. Pressley visited Somerville to celebrate the $2.4 million in federal funding she secured to support the community-led transformation of the Clarendon Hill housing community, an ethnically, linguistically and economically diverse neighborhood.
  • In December 2023, Rep. Pressley visited Brighton to celebrate $400,000 she delivered for Amplify Latinx’s ALX Small Business Program.
  • In November 2023, Rep. Pressley visited Roxbury Community College (RCC) to celebrate $1 million in federal community project funding she secured for Northeastern University’s Roxbury Associate’s to Master’s Workforce Accelerator (RA2MWA).
  • In June 2023, Rep. Pressley visited Chelsea to celebrate $2,000,000 in federal community project funding she secured to improve the Broadway Corridor—home to an array of BIPOC-owned small businesses, vibrant public spaces, high frequency public transit routes, and dense residential housing.
  • In April 2023, Rep. Pressley visited Randolph to celebrate $524,000 she secured for Randolph Public Schools to support a mobile library and STEM programming.
  • In March 2023, Rep. Pressley visited Dorchester to celebrate $250,000 in new Community Project Funding she secured for Big Sister Association of Greater Boston’s one-to-one mentoring and enrichment programs for girls.
  • In February 2023, Rep. Pressley visited the African Community Economic Development of New England (ACEDONE) to celebrate the $643,003 in community project funding she secured for ACEDONE to support small businesses in predominately Black, brown and African immigrant communities.
  • In October 2022, Rep. Pressley visited The Dimock Center in Roxbury to celebrate $1 million in federal community project funding she secured to support substance use treatment and programming at the health center. 
  • In August 2022, Rep. Pressley visited Randolph to deliver $275,000 in federal community project funding for culturally responsive resources and digital literacy tools for Randolph Public Schools.
  • In June 2022, Rep. Pressley visited the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology to deliver $300,000 in direct federal funding for the development of a Clean Energy Building Automation Systems certificate and associate degree program.
  • In May 2022, she visited Bunker Hill Community College to celebrate the $1,000,000 in federal community project funding she secured to expand the City of Boston’s Tuition-Free Community College program.
  • In April 2022, she visited Randolph to deliver $1,000,000 in federal community project funding for a new school-based community health center at Randolph High School. 
  • In March 2022, she visited La Colaborativa in Chelsea to celebrate the $300,000 in federal community project funding that she delivered for La Colaborativa’s COVID Employment Recovery Program.