Resources | About C2FO | June 19, 2023

C2FO Celebrates June 19 With Juneteenth Grant Program, Education and More

June 19 is a day for commemorating the end of slavery in the US and celebrating Black history and culture.

June 19 is a day for commemorating the end of slavery in the US and celebrating Black history and culture.

June 19 — Juneteenth — honors the struggles, achievements and contributions of African Americans while promoting equality and justice for all. 

At C2FO, it’s also one of the biggest days of the year, with a team party, educational content and giving back to the community

The origin and meaning of Juneteenth

On June 19, 1865, when Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to proclaim that the Civil War was over and that the nearly 250,000 enslaved Blacks in Texas were now free, his words were met with surprise and jubilation.

Many slaves in Texas did not know the war was over, much less that they were liberated. They were never informed of the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all enslaved persons in the Confederate states were freed and took effect nearly two-and-a-half years earlier.  

Juneteenth, a shorthand blending of the words “June” and “nineteenth,” grew into a national day of celebration for people throughout the United States. Over the years, it has also been called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Jubilee Day” and “Emancipation Day.” 

It was made an official federal holiday in 2021.

Juneteenth and C2FO’s mission

Juneteenth aligns with C2FO’s goal of helping minority-owned businesses to access working capital when they need it, which allows them to grow. In 2022, our platform provided $4.7 billion in early payments to diverse businesses, a 27% increase over 2021. 

So far this year, our platform has accelerated about $884 million in early payments to minority-owned businesses — funds they used to buy inventory, meet payroll and continue investing in their operations. 

And in 2021, C2FO launched a number of Opportunity Marketplaces with several enterprises. These programs offer qualified women- and minority-owned businesses early payments and capital at preferred rates.

C2FO is an important source of funding for many minority- and female-owned companies, which tend to use the platform more frequently than their white and male-owned counterparts.

And that lines up with research from the Federal Reserve and other institutions that indicates minority-owned businesses have more trouble getting credit, which has an impact on their ability to meet short-term cash flow needs. 

How C2FO is honoring Juneteenth 

2023 Juneteenth Nonprofit Grants

C2FO will donate US marketplace revenue earned by C2FO on June 19 to up to three nonprofit organizations dedicated to equity, inclusion and opportunity in underserved and disadvantaged communities. The application form can be accessed through this page.

The Juneteenth Nonprofit Grants support 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that champion Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. C2FO acknowledges that many communities, especially Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, are unfairly under-resourced and face systemic biases.

●      According to Bankrate.com, in 2019, about 30% of Black-owned businesses spent over 50% of their revenue paying off debt.

●      According to Bankrate.com, White entrepreneurs start their businesses with an average of three times more capital than Black-owned businesses, at $107,000 vs. $35,000.

●      A recent Intuit QuickBooks insight report indicates that 57% of Black business owners were denied a bank loan at least once when they started their businesses, compared to 37% of non-Black business owners.

C2FO chooses to invest in our communities by supporting 501(c)(3) organizations that educate and provide resources to entrepreneurs and local businesses because C2FO knows that when all businesses have access to the capital they need — when a financial system is truly inclusive — we all win.

Education and celebration

C2FO’s Onyx Employee Resource Group (ERG) is a network of team members committed to supporting members of the African diaspora. C2FO has made this a safe place for employees to learn and grow and discuss social matters. The Onyx ERG has played a leading role in organizing Juneteenth programming at C2FO. 

During the first two weeks of June, for example, C2FO team members competed in a daily Juneteenth trivia quiz led by the Onyx ERG. 

C2FO’s Kansas City office also celebrated Juneteenth with a barbecue lunch with food from Black-owned businesses, family reunion playlist, yard games and more. 

C2FO provides a half day to US team members to recognize and celebrate the holiday in their own way — whether through volunteering, celebrating with others or private reflection.

C2FO’s Kansas City-based summer interns were invited to attend a team outing and lunch at the Negro Leauges Baseball Museum. (Remote interns were given the opportunity to view a virtual exhibition highlighting baseball’s rich cultural connection and chronicles of intergration.) 

Establishing a fairer financial system

At C2FO, we have always been passionate advocates of fairness and equity in the financial services industry, especially when it comes to companies that have historically been underrepresented and underfunded. 

We sincerely hope you’ll join us in recognizing and honoring Juneteenth. But as you are aware, advocating for a more just and equitable financial system is a year-round endeavor. As a C2FO customer, we hope you are aware of our ongoing commitment to assisting diverse businesses in getting the working capital they require on a daily basis in order to grow each and every day. 

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