Black owned business sign attached on the window

A new partnership has been formed to help Pennsylvania cleaning companies owned by people of color, WHYY.

Disinfect-US coalition is partnership between social impact investors around Philadelphia and The Enterprise Center, a nonprofit based in the city that typically assists businesses owned by people of color. The coalition is providing financial aid, training and networking opportunities to people of color who own cleaning companies. It also assists these owners of color in competing for government contracts and work with large institutions. 

The assistance in bidding for contracts is particularly noteworthy because those deals have traditionally gone to white-owned companies, according to a document from the Economy League, which WHYY shared in its story.

The assistance provided by the coalition has paid dividends during the COVID-19 pandemic. Personal Touch Cleaning Services, which is owned by Shariah Brown, a woman of color, was succeeding prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, when the contracts for cleaning construction projects that she relied on began to be put on pause last spring, Brown began to worry. Luckily, the business was able to stay open through the first few months of the pandemic and is now succeeding again. Some of that success has been credited to the help Disinfect-US provided.

The coalition has also made it easier for businesses owned by people of color to gain access to capital by helping them land loans that have little to no interest. Several cleaning businesses have already benefited from financial assistance.

To read the rest of what WHYY had to report on this topic, click here.