Corporate Member Resources

The Supplier Diversity Small & Diverse Business Scholarship Program

Bank of America and Scholarship America are pleased to announce the 2020 cycle of The Supplier Diversity Small & Diverse Business Scholarship Program, sponsored by Bank of America and funded through the generosity of Bank of America’s vendors. This cycle, which launches March 2, 2020 will award scholarships to business owners of qualified certified small and diverse businesses for targeted training and development to enhance their business. Applications are due May 29, 2020.

Learn more here.

Small business owners show an incredible amount of courage and grit to run their business every day—and we understand it’s taking every ounce of that strength to problem solve in today’s uncertain time. We want to provide immediate ways to help. Please see a compilation of resources at this link.

Fairfax County creates $25m grant program for small businesses, nonprofits

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to create the $25 million Fairfax Relief Initiative to Support Employers (Fairfax RISE) grant program to assist small businesses and nonprofits affected by the economic downturn created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, the first of its kind in the county, will be funded using federal CARES Act funds provided to the county government.

“I am very excited about this program – the first of its kind in Fairfax County. Our hope is that these grants will help small businesses and nonprofits emerge from these difficult times, retain employees, and be prepared to grow in the future,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay. “We want to support the many small businesses and nonprofits that are crucial to the Fairfax County community and economy.”

Click here to fill out a county form to be notified when the grant application is available in June.

The program’s primary purpose is to provide immediate relief to small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fairfax County hopes to help small businesses and organizations remain in business through the COVID-19 emergency and address gaps that may exist among complementary programs.


Fairfax RISE will offer grants to qualified businesses or nonprofits that will not have to be repaid. It also specifically establishes a minimum allocation of 30 percent of the program’s total dollars — or $7.5 million — toward awards for minority-, veteran-, and woman- owned businesses.

Not only have these kinds of businesses historically faced difficulty obtaining financing, but they also make a major contribution to the county’s economy. Minority-owned companies with employees account for 32 percent of businesses in Fairfax County, and collectively, all minority, women and veteran-owned businesses employ 80,000 people in the county with total annual revenues of $14.4 billion.


The grant application process is expected to begin in early June 2020. To be eligible, applicants must be established and have one or more location(s) in Fairfax County, including the principal place of business. Fairfax County includes businesses and nonprofit organizations located in the towns of Herndon, Vienna and Clifton. Additionally, awardees must have less than 50 total employees across all locations, have been in operation over one year; and, with the exception of nonprofits, have a valid Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL).

The amount of Fairfax RISE awards will be based upon the number of full-time equivalent employees:

  • 1 to 10 employees: $10,000
  • 11 to 25 employees: $15,000
  • 26 to 49 employees: $20,000

The grant can be used for:

  • Employee compensation (including wages and benefits)
  • Working capital
  • Equipment
  • Inventory
  • Rent
  • Other business critical operating expenses

Funding must be used for an eligible expense to mitigate business interruptions for the grant awardee business. No grant funds can be used to pay debts to close the business or start a new business.

“These are unprecedented times, economically, and I am so pleased to see the  Board of Supervisors continue to step up with unprecedented programs to help the Fairfax County small business community, especially minority-, woman- and veteran-owned businesses that are a critical element of the local economy, get through the COVID-related slowdown,” said Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the FCEDA. “This grant program is an important component in the arsenal of resources that have been marshaled at the local, state and federal levels to help companies survive and prepare for the future.”

The $25 million Small Business and Nonprofit Relief Grant Program is in addition to two other recently announced Fairfax County small business and non-profit programs to address the COVID-19 economic crisis. This includes the $2.5 million Small Business COVID Recovery Microloan Fund and the $25 million Safety-Net Non-Profit Grant Program.

The Department of Economic Initiatives will oversee and monitor the Fairfax RISE grant program.  For more information visit the Fairfax County website or contact the Department of Economic Initiatives at or call 703-324-5171.

Merck Announces Virtual Procurement and Learning Opportunities for Diverse Suppliers

Celebrating 35 Years of Commitment to Economic Inclusion and Supplier Diversity, Merck introduces an Innovative Virtual Engagement Center for Diverse Suppliers

At Merck, we are excited to be a part of organizations like yours that appreciate the diversity of the workforce, supply chain and community. Join with us in an innovative virtual experience designed to connect diverse suppliers with procurement, education and you. Merck is introducing two new features to connect diverse suppliers with procurement opportunities and educational tools for growth and development.

  • The Virtual Business Opportunity Fair – June 17,2020, 8:00am – 4:30pm EST is one of two virtual events scheduled in 2020, that will provide the opportunity for diverse suppliers to engage with Merck’s supply chain professionals, Prime Suppliers and Advocacy Organizations during a virtual tradeshow.
  • Within this experience, we are also bringing a Virtual Educational Experience which kicks off on May 21, 2020 from 2:00pm EST.  This will offer complimentary specialized video business courses, to enhance our Diverse Supplier Development efforts.

Prudential has provided some great articles on topics that you may be thinking about at this time:

UPS is continuing its support of small businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic. Click here to see how are doing so with information on how to:

  • Increase your cash flow
  • Immediate fulfilment help
  • See outbound and inbound shipping remotely

Register here for the upcoming UPS Webinar: The Shift to E-Commerce—How to Quickly Start Selling Online.