(CBS DETROIT)- During the pandemic small businesses have suffered. President and CEO of the Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance Charity Dean says, due to some disparities black businesses have been hit especially hard.

“When the first round of PPP came out last year in the height of COVID there were so many black businesses that could not access it because the rules said you had to have a lending relationship with the bank and so many black owed businesses, they may have had banking relationships but they didn’t have lending relationships,” said Dean.

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In order to thrive, Dean says those business relationships are critical, so she and a group of Black business owners banned together to create the new Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance.

Launching last Friday the organization announced a $1 million gift from TCF Bank, one for the founding partners.

“We’re going to be doing programing to connect black business owners with the things that they need we’re going to do deep dives into the disparities whether they’re in financial institutions or in other institutions,” said Dean.

The goal for the alliance is not only to keep businesses afloat, Dean says, but to also create Black business legacies like Hot Sams clothing store in downtown Detroit.

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“Really I’m preserving the tradition the tried and tested tradition that has worked for this business but I’m also implementing how we move and navigate into the now into the future,” says Lauren Stovall, the Legacy Preserver and Business lead for Hot Sam’s.

Stovall is the second generation owner of Hot Sam’s, a business her father purchased nearly 30 years ago. The business just celebrated 100 years in Detroit.

“It gives a testament again to the strong foundation of this business,” says Stovall.

“If Black businesses really do thrive then everyone wins,” says Dean.

For more information on MDBBA visit here.

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April Morton