path to equity

2021 Impact Report

build capacity

We aim to tackle problems from all angles by helping to break down financial barriers, bringing together the right people at the right time, sharing knowledge and lessons learned with collaborators, and creating trust-based relationships that bring community-driven, transformative change. 

path to equity

2021 Impact Report

build capacity

We aim to tackle problems from all angles by helping to break down financial barriers, bringing together the right people at the right time, sharing knowledge and lessons learned with collaborators, and creating trust-based relationships that bring community-driven, transformative change. 

Get Online and Grow Online: Supporting Black-owned and women-owned businesses through technical assistance, community engagement

Because the success of small businesses are vital to our neighborhoods and their economies, we work to provide entrepreneurs and small business owners the tools they need to grow and excel. Community capacity building must be holistic in order for communities to become thriving, resilient, and equitable. 

Our Get Online and Grow Online (GOGO) program was launched in partnership with the Urban Redevelopment Authority in response to COVID-19 to aid businesses in implementing new, creative ways to reach their customers through online interaction. Since 2020, the need to operate online has only increased, and so GOGO became a permanent part of our programming and expanded to cover all of Western Pennsylvania. In 2021, we served 80 businesses, 89% percent of which are woman or minority owned. 

While GOGO participants are able to access up to ten hours of pro bono technical assistance, we have also offered opportunities for some participants to feature their businesses through Neighborhood Allies’ channels, as well. In November 2021, to promote Small Business Saturday, we held a promotional social media campaign for 7 of our GOGO participants. During the 4-day event, we featured custom graphics, sponsored posts, a Facebook Live interview, and an opportunity for the business owners to receive matching donations based on the number of transactions they received. 

 

We were able to support participating businesses with a total of $1,575 in matching funds, and garner a reach of nearly 20,000 accounts and 485 engagements across our social media posts.

“It’s typical to get a few new customers a week, sometimes through word of mouth or by them walking past. However, I think the online event on Black Friday, especially in my field where most shops are closed for the holiday, presented an awesome opportunity. I believe it was your promotion all week about the event and also us as owners tagging our networks that made a difference. It really worked well with you all as an engine behind it, and all we had to do was speak, promote, and connect our networks.”

Curtis Miller

Owner of Heirs, LLC Barbershop

Local Small Businesses with Increased Capacity

CDCs/CBOs Engaged in Programs

Organizations with increased capacity

People participating in resident-led projects

How We Help Build Capacity

The Partnership Network

The Partnership Network (TPN) is a coalition of nonprofit intermediaries committed to taking bold action in response to worsening regional wealth inequities. Collectively, TPN’s goal is to eliminate systemic inequalities through a more effective ecosystem of service delivery and resident empowerment. TPN members, and as a collective group, work at both the organization and resident-level with a commitment to being people-centered in their work.

Organization-In-Residence

The intention of the Organization-in-Residence program is two fold–to incubate a nascent and growing, Black-led organization to eventually launch as an independent non-profit entity and to bring a holistic, more person-centered approach to community development by aligning Steel Smiling’s Black mental health programs with Neighborhood Allies’ economic mobility and digital inclusion work.

Real Estate Co-Powerment Series

Launched in early 2017 and hosted by our partner Omicelo Cares, the Real Estate Co-Powerment Series is an education platform that demystifies the real estate development process, explains its associated terminology and brings to light the productive role community members and organizations play in the real estate and economic development inside their neighborhoods through a combination of in-class instruction, coaching, and mentorship.

RISE HIGH Grant Partnership Program

The RISE HIGH Grant Partnership Program provides an opportunity for applicants to partner with Neighborhood Allies over a set period of time to achieve meaningful and measurable equity and inclusion results in the Pittsburgh area.

Get Online and Grow Online

In partnership with the Urban Redevelopment Authority, we launched the Get Online and Grow Online (GOGO) program, to aid businesses in implementing new, creative ways to reach their customers through online interaction. The goal of the program is to supply small businesses with personalized e-commerce solutions that will help them enter the digital marketplace.

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