Three New Jersey-based Black-owned businesses in the beauty industry were among 30 nationwide to be given one-time grants of $10,000 in the inaugural round of a program created by L’Oréal USA in partnership with the NAACP.
- Avian Regan, Manestream Beauty Bar, West Orange;
- Christiana Osawe, Touched Beauty Studios LLC, New Brunswick;
- Teresa James, Virtuous Hair Studio, Edgewater Park.
The grants, a program of L’Oréal USA’s Inclusive Beauty Fund, were given to Black-owned small businesses, entrepreneurs and professional services.
With Black-owned businesses significantly affected by the economic fallout of the pandemic, program officials said the funding is a means of support and encouragement to continue expanding diversity and inclusivity throughout the beauty industry.
Grants were available to new or existing beauty businesses of all kinds, including but not limited to salons, spas, barbershops, stylists, makeup artists, entrepreneurs, startup founders, haircare specialists and beauty schools.
Angela Guy, the chief diversity & inclusion officer at L’Oréal USA, said the company felt a duty to step up.
“As a leader within the industry, it’s our responsibility to engage and offer support across the various sectors of beauty, especially in challenging times,” she said. “To have the ability to aid and amplify a small business, product or service is a point of pride for L’Oréal, and I’m honored to initiate the first stage of Inclusive Beauty alongside the NAACP. We are thrilled to engage this network of beauty players.”
In addition to one-time funding, Guy said L’Oréal USA is committed to providing grantees with professional business development support from its leading beauty brands and its professional beauty products distributor, SalonCentric.
Yumeka Rushing, the chief strategy officer at the NAACP, said she was eager to team up with L’Oréal USA to identify the most promising prospects in need of the investment.
“Not only do they ensure these Black-owned beauty businesses can navigate through these challenging, unprecedented times, but the funds also support the continued growth and success of these businesses,” she said. “As the heartbeats of their neighborhoods, the longevity of these businesses is critical to supporting and uplifting entire communities.
“We look forward to seeing the exciting achievements these Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs accomplish over the coming years.”