Marie Campell, owner of Blooms by Marie, recalled sitting with the other two grant recipients in her shop as Mitzen explained why Hoke had called them all there. The assistance doesn’t end with just a check. Mitzen declined to say how much the foundation gave but said with that financial boost there is a standing offer to work with the businesses and connect them to other resources that allow them to continue to grow. That could mean payroll, accounting or other business connections that could serve them better, he said. “Ed handed me a white business envelope and I thought, ‘This looks serious, this isn’t your ordinary visit,’” she said.
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“One aspect of the News For Good Foundation is helping entrepreneurs in underserved communities get a leg up and help them grow their business,” he said. “While they were scraping and climbing to succeed, they were always the first to volunteer to help others.” The grants went to the owners of Allie B’s Cozy Kitchen, Blooms by Marie and Kingdom Services, the foundation’s co-founder Edward Mitzen said this week.
Mitzen said the foundation’s CEO, Jahkeen Hoke, suggested which businesses to approach with the grant funding. And all three received sizable grants from the News for Good Foundation on New Year’s Eve in recognition of their work and of the need to help businesses like theirs continue to succeed.
Campbell said she plans to use part of the money to her to hire marketing help and a part-time designer. “I’d love to grow my business and give back to the community and the neighborhood,” she said. They recalled the long hours they put in to build their enterprises from the ground up, mentioning 20-hour days, waking up and going back for more. The fact that someone recognized their effort seemed to touch them as much as the grants. And staying true to their nature, all three said part of that money would go toward providing opportunities for others.
“I just burst out crying,” Campbell said. They were reluctant to open the envelope. And shocked when they did.
The News Highlights
- Three Albany Companies Win News For Good Foundation Grants
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