Flagstar Bank is keeping a promise and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the communities it serves by giving $1 million in grants to help small businesses owned by black, indigenous and people of color whose operating expenses are impacted by COVID-19. Businesses owned by people of color have been especially hard hit by COVID-19, with nearly half of black-owned businesses shuttered by the pandemic, according to a Flagstar release.

Qualifying small businesses can submit applications now through Nov. 20 for grants of $5,000. Flagstar has partnered with BIPOC nonprofits in its key banking markets to vet and administer the grants. Qualifications include diverse ownership, revenues of no more than $1 million, and a location within Flagstar Bank's footprint of Michigan, Fort Wayne and South Bend, and the High Desert of San Bernardino County, California. Additional qualifications, grant uses and other information are available in the application.

"We hope to combat the narrative that there is no assistance for minority-owned businesses," said Dwan Dandridge, CEO of Black Leaders Detroit, one of the nonprofit partners. "We were founded to serve the entrepreneurs to do more with less. We are proud to team up with Flagstar to help these businesses survive, thrive and enhance the vitality of our communities."

"We have a commitment to our communities and to keeping our promises to them," said Alessandro DiNello, CEO of Flagstar Bank. "Reversing decades of systemic inequities is a marathon, and we are in it to the finish. These grants are an important milestone along the way to making our communities and our company better and more equitable for all."

All business information submitted with the applications will be confidential. Businesses selected to receive grants will be notified Dec. 4, with funds disbursed a few days later.

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