NEW YORK - Today, Verizon announced that new grant funding opportunities for small businesses, totaling $500,000, are available via Verizon Small Business Digital Ready. In partnership with Next Street and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready online resource is designed to give under-resourced small businesses the tools they need to help grow their business and thrive in today’s digital economy. Small business owners who register on the platform receive free, personalized access to over 40 online courses, mentorship opportunities with industry experts, peer networking events, 1:1 expert coaching and incentives such as the opportunity to apply for grant funding. Based on a survey conducted of small business owners registered on the platform, 99% of respondents agree that Small Business Digital Ready courses helped their business.*
“Since Verizon Small Business Digital Ready launched in 2021, we have been able to support over 200,000 small business owners nationwide,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer at Verizon. “We are proud to tap into our tools and resources - as well as our network of experts - to help small businesses succeed and, ultimately, help benefit their local communities.”
In an effort to provide a more personalized experience to users, Verizon Small Business Digital Ready was recently updated with new content, such as short-form videos, articles and audio clips, and revamped with a fresh look to provide small business owners with a clear path to the resources and tools that are right for them.
Starting today, October 12, until December 20, 2023, small businesses can unlock the application for this round of grant funding by first registering on the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready portal and completing at least two of the following, in any combination: courses, coaching or community events. Small businesses that complete the application will be eligible for consideration to receive a $10,000 grant.
Verizon Small Business Digital Ready includes courses designed to provide essential knowledge and tools, including topics such as developing a marketing strategy, improving employee experience, cybersecurity, best practices for leveraging social media channels for growth, and many others. The free portal also includes access to expert mentorship, providing small business owners with the opportunity to obtain ongoing advice and support from experienced professionals who can help them overcome business challenges. Spanish language course offerings, 1:1 coaching from experts and community events are also available.
"To harness and take advantage of the growth of the digital economy, small business owners must have access to the latest information and best practices around marketing themselves to their customers and running their businesses effectively online," said Sharon Lee Thony, Founder & CEO of SLT Consulting and Verizon Small Business Digital Ready instructor. “Registering for free online courses like those on Verizon’s Small Business Digital Ready platform is a great way to not only tap into critical skills in areas like marketing or branding but also for engaging with mentors and networking with other entrepreneurs.”
This initiative is part of Verizon’s goal to support 1M small businesses by 2030 with the resources to thrive in the digital economy as part of its responsible business plan, Citizen Verizon. Visit CitizenVerizon.com to learn more about the company’s responsible business efforts.
*Based on a survey conducted of more than 4500+ users registered on the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready platform