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The Same Sky Initiative

In a direct response to COVID-19’s devastating effect on Black businesses, a collaborative between the Association for Black Business and Professionals (ABBP), Babson College’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership, African Diaspora Mental Health Association (ADMHA), Baystate Hospital, Urban League of Springfield and Team R3SET to provide programming, resources, and connections to see business owners thrive and scale in the Springfield area of Massachusetts. Information to help you understand and apply for the Initiative is below.

Open For Business

Key Activities:

1. Engaging the Community and Anchor Institutions to identify procurement opportunities for local businesses and providing a pathway for business to access contract 

2. Create Curriculum (Babson) that will engage participating Anchor Institutions (Baystate Health) and existing / start up low barrier businesses. 

3. Recruit Business 

4. Train Businesses (25 businesses) 

5. Grant 10 businesses with the most potential $10,000 in startup capital

Grant Criteria:

To apply, you must be an owner of a Black-owned small business (51% or more ownership of the business). You must have between 1-20 employees (including yourself, all full or part-time employees, and independent (1099) contractors). The business must also not be part of a franchise brand with more than twenty-five (3) corporate-owned stores. 

The business must be located in an Springfield Massachusetts  


There are a few industries and business types that are not eligible to receive grants:

  • Any government agency, public administration, political organization, or non-profit of any type;

  • Businesses engaged in any illegal activity;

  • Gas stations, or businesses located on the same premises as a gas station;

  • Shopping property management companies;

  • Direct sellers;

  • Any business that is primarily in the business of manufacturing, promoting or selling diet aids, cannabis, gambling, tobacco (including tobacco-related equipment, such as e-cigarettes), firearms or other weapons;

  • Private clubs and businesses which limit the number of memberships for reasons other than capacity;

  • Businesses principally engaged in teaching, instructing, counseling or indoctrinating religion or religious beliefs, whether in a religious or secular setting;

  • Businesses which derive directly or indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a sexual nature;

  • Entities listed on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Sanctions List.



The $10,000 grants are only the start of the ABBP efforts to support Black-owned small businesses. The grant program will invest in the long-term success and resilience of the Black small business community.

Additional Questions? 

Still have more questions? Email us at

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