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VT PoC's BIPOC Relief Fund

All proceeds donated will go directly towards BIPOC small businesses and community members in need.


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The Vermont Professionals of Color Network (VT PoC) is dedicated to supporting the success of professionals and businesses of color through networking, education, and advocacy. This inaugural relief fund was established to support BIPOC small businesses and community members following the 2023 VT Flood and will remain active as a integral part of our network.


The Purpose 

Vermont has experienced historic flooding and continues to cause damage to BIPOC businesses and community members. The damages are catastrophic and include loss of equipment, homes, internet service, cars, and general grief.

Some of these businesses are Vermont staples, having been around for over 20+ years. Others are new to the community and have just begun their journey as small business owners. An emerging concern is the lack of unrestricted funds that do not require repayment. Existing resources, such as loans, are not realistic for many BIPOC businesses for reasons such high-interest rates, the ongoing debt crisis, and more. Here is what we know at the creation of this fund:

  • Approximately 401 businesses in the Central Vermont region suffered flood damage. We are actively reaching out to community members in other regions to understand damages.
  • Of the 401 businesses, 20% are owned by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community members.
  • None of the impacted BIPOC businesses have flood insurance.
  • Regarding financial support for small businesses, the main avenue is through government loans ranging from 4-8% interest rates. New resources have recently developed, including a 20 million grant, yet our BIPOC business community will still be in critical need.
  • The current estimated loss by a business owner is approximately $189,000. Most businesses are small and family-owned.
  • Regarding BIPOC community members, we are receiving reports of continued negative impact such as being forcibly evicted from their homes and loss of jobs. These same community members do not have access to the same resources.

Beyond our organization, there are limited broader efforts to support the BIPOC community as a whole. This makes it crucial to create these opportunities for funding.

The Ask

VT PoC is tapping the broader community to donate to the BIPOC Relief Fund. All proceeds will be directed to BIPOC community members and businesses in need. Your support can make a meaningful difference during these challenging times.

How will the funds be used?

 At this time, BIPOC small business owners and community members who have been impacted by the 2023 VT Flood will receive funds. We consider small business owners to be:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Owners of a micro-business
  • Owners of brick and mortars
  • Individuals with both formal / legally and informally established businesses
  • Individuals with side hustles
  • Community members impacted by the flood


Additional Resources

If you are a BIPOC business or community member in need, please visit VT PoC's flood resources page and/or email Airon Shaw, Research and Technical Assistance Coordinator, at [email protected].



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Vermont Professionals of Color Network

A 501(c)(3) Public Charity

EIN 86-2667055