Shaquille O’Neal is popular not just for his athletic ability, but also for his wit, although he was the most dominant force in NBA history. Typically, his humor was demonstrated at his own expense, such as using nicknames and in this case, it would be ever appropriate if he dubbed himself, “The Big Philanthropist.”
The NBA champion recently associated with American Express and its “Coalition to Back Black Businesses,” which is a novel grant program established to support Black-owned businesses in their recovery from the global pandemic.
“Small businesses need our support now more than ever,” Shaq said, according to Billboard. “Black businesses have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. You tell people, ‘stay in your house four months, don’t leave don’t go out.’ It’s a shame 40 million Americans have lost their jobs, but in these Black communities with Black businesses, a lot of people have lost their lifelong jobs. I’m happy to support the first-ever Coalition of Black Businesses.”
The commitment of $10 million is meant to fund a grant program over the next four years, under which eight businesses will be considered for $5k each.
“Not only are we giving money,” said Shaq, “but we give mentorship to help get their businesses to the next level.”
The process of application began on September 15 at webackblackbusinesses.com and the last date for submissions is Sept. 21. Among the applicants, 250 will be chosen to finish some more in-depth applications, which will be due on Sept. 29.
Learn more about The Big Philanthropist’s goals for the community by watching the video below.
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