Nearly a month ago, the City of Alexandria stopped the launch of the BIPOC Small Business Grant Program amid a lawsuit that alleged it was racially discriminatory.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — For more than a decade, Cameron Café in Alexandria has been a go-to staple for the community. Owner Dayan Worku managed to survive the pandemic, but like many other small businesses in the city, he understands the struggle to make ends meet.
“While many businesses have struggled and are still recovering in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, these hardships are particularly felt by Black, Indigenous and people of color (“BIPOC”) owned businesses due to structural barriers and discriminatory financial lending practices,” the City of Alexandria said in a statement announcing the program.
Worku, who qualified and was excited for the opportunity, hoped to replace old equipment.
“We could definitely use the funds,” Worku said. “Some businesses are really struggling.”