On March 21st, 2023 Square Financial Services announced the recipients of the 22 Squared Grant Initiative, a microgrant program launched in partnership with the Community Foundation of Utah. For the second year in a row, the program awarded microgrants to Utah-based nonprofits that focus on at least one of Square Financial Services’ community development pillars: small business development, affordable housing, reentry support and entrepreneurship, and financial capability and wellness.
In addition to providing 19 grants of $2,200 to nonprofits across the state, Square Financial Services awarded grants of $5,000 to three organizations for exceptional and innovative community development work:
Utah Microloan Fund (UMLF): The Utah Microloan Fund empowers underserved communities throughout Utah by providing microloans up to $50,000, as well as business advice, classes, and management support to entrepreneurs. Over half of UMLF’s clients are recognized as being low-to-moderate income, and nearly one-third identify as women or minorities.
UAACC Charitable Foundation: The Utah African American Chamber of Commerce (UAACC) Charitable Foundation is dedicated to developing young Black professionals, providing resources to small business owners, and growing wealth in Utah’s Black community through its wide breadth of programming. Working with various organizations across Utah, the UAACC offers mentorship and apprenticeship opportunities to high school students and young professionals of color with the goal of increasing the pipeline of Black talent from 8th grade to the C-Suite.
Circles Salt Lake: Circles Salt Lake is focused on breaking cycles of poverty and addressing the systemic barriers people in low-income communities regularly face. As a community-led initiative, Circles staff and volunteers collaborate to offer financial literacy education, mentoring, peer-to-peer counseling, and connections to basic but vital resources like transportation, healthcare, and job opportunities.
“We recognize the growing need for both funding and education for business owners in Utah, especially in underbanked populations,” said Doug Keefe, Executive Director of the Utah Microloan Fund. “Self-employment and microenterprise development offer a significant opportunity to provide income, and with this grant, we’ll be able to expand our grassroots outreach and offer resources to traditionally underserved communities across the state.”
“Nonprofits throughout Utah have had a transformational impact and can help revitalize local communities,” said Lew Goodwin, CEO of Square Financial Services. “Many of last year’s grant recipients have provided programming, financial resources, and education to small businesses and entrepreneurs in minority, refugee, and low-to-moderate income populations. In partnership with the Community Foundation of Utah, we’ve expanded grant funds by nearly 30% this year to help even more nonprofits make strides in the critical community development work that ultimately leads to economic empowerment.”
For a full list of winners, please visit: https://utahcf.org/community-impact/initiatives/293#2023-awardees
Square helps sellers more easily run and grow their businesses with its integrated ecosystem of commerce solutions. Square offers purpose-built software to run complex restaurant, retail, and professional services operations, versatile e-commerce tools, embedded financial services and banking products, buy now, pay later functionality through Afterpay, staff management and payroll capabilities, and much more – all of which work together to save sellers time and effort. Millions of sellers across the globe trust Square to power their business and help them thrive in the economy. Square is part of Block, Inc. (NYSE: SQ), a global technology company with a focus on financial services. For more information, visit www.squareup.com.