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WBDC Equity Match Grant Program

Webster Bank N.A. - Waterbury, Connecticut

2021 Community Commitment Awards Submission

  • Entry Category: Economic Inclusion
  • Asset Size: Medium

Webster is the founding funder of the Women's Business Development Council (WBDC) Equity Grant Match program. A partnership with nonprofit, government and financial entities, it was designed to promote economic prosperity of women- and minority-owned small businesses throughout Connecticut.

In August 2020, the bank donated ,000 to begin the program to provide working capital with preference given to WBDC clients who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or meet low-moderate income requirements.

“Webster has a long history of supporting our communities with a deep commitment to building self-reliance especially for low to moderate income and marginalized communities. Finding ways to strengthen small business owners, particularly women-owned, women of color and minority owned small businesses is critical to recovery post-pandemic. We believe this is an opportunity to assist in a meaningful way as founding funder of the Equity Match Grant Program,” said Kathryn Luria, SVP, Community Affairs and Director of Philanthropy. “This innovative partnership is particularly timely and needed during this transformational time in society,” she added.

The Women’s Business Development Council Equity Match Grant program was created in response to the economic challenges brought about by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its focus is to help businesses disproportionately affected by the pandemic, enabling them to invest in their business to achieve growth.

In 2021, the WBDC awarded nearly ,000 in grants to 44 women-owned businesses in Connecticut; 32 percent were awarded to businesses owned by women of color. These grants were the second round of awards through the Equity Match Grant Program, aiding a total of 56 local businesses since its inception in 2020.