The NBA and LegalZoom continue their partnership to ensure a more equitable society that celebrates the small business achievements of underrepresented communities. The partnership is focused on furthering and supporting small business owners in the U.S.
The “Fast Break for Small Business” program provides capital via grants, and LegalZoom small business services to help remove some of the barriers to access that many women, people of color, members of the LQBTQIA+ community, and immigrants face.
The program will dedicate $6 million in grants and LegalZoom services to support thousands of small businesses, nationwide.
LegalZoom is the industry leader in online business formation and a leading platform in legal, compliance and tax solutions. Established in 2001, LegalZoom has provided credible resources for businesses and brands across all 50 states in the U.S. The company offers estate planning documents, tax advice, trademark filings, and continuing compliance.
During the 2022-23 NBA and WNBA seasons, 100 applicants will be selected to receive a $10,000 small business grant, up to $500 in value. In addition, another 4,000 small business owners will receive free LegalZoom products, up to $500 in value.
According to LegalZoom, 79% of grantees identified as people of color, and 67% were women. In addition, 88% of grantees reported making $50,000 or less in annual revenue.
“Small businesses owned by people of color and women are often more underserved than other businesses,” said TJ Cohen, Head of Brand Partnerships at LegalZoom.
“We’re proud to use our resources and expertise in small business formation, compliance, and other legal services to support our grantees as they start, grow and operate their businesses and achieve their dreams.”
Grant-winner Ardean Miller, who started her company Mah Melanin, in 2021, says the $10,000 was vital for starting her business.
“I was able to market, purchase new products, and scale my business,” Miller told NBA.com.
“LegalZoom services helped me start the trademark process for my company. They became my family; they rooted for me, supported my business, and still assisted me after winning my grant. This opportunity is so much more than the grant I received. They became my lifelong business partner, and they care so much.”
Miller was born and raised in the small community of New Sarpy, Louisiana. Growing up, she was never exposed to becoming an entrepreneur but knew she wanted to change how African Americans were perceived. She hopes to see Mah Melanin in more retail stores in the next five years and partner with mom-and-pop stores.
Mitzie Pattman and Jasmin Leverett, owners of Majestic D’vah LLC, were also recipients of the $10,000 grant. Pattman describes this grant as “life-changing.”
“The grant helped us jumpstart our needs in inventory, as well as exposure to get our company names out there so that people know more about our business and what we offer,” Pattman said. “We were also able to professionalize our website and pay for any fees that needed to be paid in regard to having an LLC.”
This three-year partnership continues this NBA and WNBA season. Applications close for the first cycle on February 17, 2023. The second cycle will open Summer of 2023.
Find eligibility and criteria requirements for applicants, here.