Season-long initiative amplified local businesses making a difference in the community; partnership championed diversity, equity and inclusion

Early in the 2022-23 NBA season, the Phoenix Suns and FirstBank launched the FirstBank Empowerment Awards, a season-long program designed to strengthen marginalized communities through economic empowerment. The program expanded on the Los Suns Small Business MVP Award that the team started in 2018.

Over the past seven months since launching the program, the FirstBank and Suns partnership recognized six minority-owned small businesses across the Valley this season; each recipient received a $5,000 grant courtesy of FirstBank and marketing promotion through Phoenix Suns channels including social media posts and in-arena recognition during Suns and Mercury home games.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They keep things humming, yet, many minority-owned small businesses face barriers to success and disparities inaccessible resources compared to their counterparts,” said Humphrey Shin, FirstBank Phoenix Market President. “That’s why we’re so thrilled to continue our partnership with the Phoenix Suns to reward and champion historically underrepresented businesses. This is just one of several ways FirstBank hopes to advance diversity, equity and inclusion across our communities, and we’re glad the Suns share similar goals.”

The 2022-23 FirstBank Empowerment Award Winners were:

Since partnering with the Suns in 2019, FirstBank has donated more than $130,000 to the local community through donations to non-profit organizations and small business grants. The Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury and its partners proudly support Arizona’s diverse communities.

The Suns and Mercury are committed to building a culture on and off the court where everyone belongs and can be celebrated. Both teams will continue to uplift the small businesses, artists and creators who offer inspiration and drive the culture that makes Phoenix home. Learn more about the FirstBank Empowerment Award recipients and the Suns’ and Mercury’s efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion at Suns.com/Diversity.

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