Today, Verizon announced that new grant funding opportunities for small businesses are available for Verizon Small Business Digital Ready users in Houston, Miami, Phoenix and Los Angeles areas.

In partnership with Next Street and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready online platform is designed to give under-resourced small businesses the FREE tools they need to help them grow and succeed in today’s digital economy. Small business owners who register on the platform receive free, personalized access to over 40 online courses – some of which are available in Spanish -- coaching opportunities with industry experts, peer networking events, and incentives such as the opportunity to apply for grant funding.

Starting today, February 26, 2024 until 11:59 pm ET on April 8, 2024, small businesses can unlock the application for this round of grant funding by first registering on the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready portal and completing at least two of the following, in any combination: courses, coaching or community events. Small businesses that complete the application, and are registered in a local zip code, will be eligible for consideration to receive a $10,000 grant.

Rose Stuckey Kirk, Verizon’s Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, said, “Small businesses are the heartbeat of the community. Cities flourish when small businesses flourish, and we have a collective responsibility to support small businesses locally and nationally. Since Verizon Small Business Digital Ready launched in 2021, we have been able to support more than 270,000 small business owners nationwide. Based on a survey conducted of small business owners registered on the platform, 99% of respondents agree that Small Business Digital Ready courses helped their business.* We are proud to tap into our tools and resources - as well as our network of experts - to help small businesses succeed and, ultimately, help benefit their local communities.”

Verizon Small Business Digital Ready includes courses designed to provide essential knowledge and tools, including topics such as developing a marketing strategy, improving employee experience, cybersecurity, best practices for leveraging digital marketing channels for growth, and many others. The free portal also includes access to 1:1 coaching, providing small business owners with the opportunity to obtain advice and support from experienced professionals who can help them overcome business challenges. Spanish language course offerings and community events are also available.

“Verizon provides a great network for small businesses. It's not just fast, reliable, secure network connectivity, it's our network of people and partners," said Aparna Khurjekar, Chief Revenue Officer, SMB & SaaS, Verizon Business. "Our teams live and work in the communities we serve and are deeply committed to the success of the local economies, of which small businesses serve as the backbone. Whether you're a Verizon customer or not, we are champions of your success and Small Business Digital Ready, which is available for any small business owner is proof of that."

"Phoenix is one of the country’s fastest growing markets, and Verizon is proud to support the expanding small and medium sized businesses that serve our diverse and unique southwestern communities," said Matt Clark, Government Affairs, Phoenix, Verizon.

"Small businesses are essential to the continued growth and prosperity of the Greater Houston region. With the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready Program, small businesses can utilize the online, self -paced resources and tools to build capacity and enhance skills to thrive in the ever- evolving digital world. It's a helpful tool for everyone; whether you are preparing to launch or looking to grow a business,” said Tandra LeMay, Government Affairs, Houston, Verizon.

"The majority of businesses in Miami are small businesses and 70% of the population speaks Spanish. In order to support these entrepreneurs from all backgrounds Verizon is providing bilingual tools and local business coaching to ensure we are appropriately meeting the needs of Miami's business community," said Courtney Barnard, Government Affairs, Miami, Verizon.

"The City of Los Angeles is home to over 460,000 businesses, the majority of which are small businesses that were hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of the challenges brought by the last few years, small businesses represent 99% of the businesses that have opened in the City since 2022 and are responsible for 63% of net new jobs nationwide,” said Erica Jacquez, Government Affairs, Los Angeles, Verizon. Randal Hernandez, Government Affairs, Los Angeles, Verizon, continued, "Verizon Small Business Digital Ready is an excellent resource for our local small businesses; the free online offerings, including online courses and 1:1 coaching, have been critical in moving our small businesses to achieve their goals.”

This initiative is part of Verizon’s goal to support 1M small businesses by 2030 with the resources to thrive in the digital economy as part of its responsible business plan, Citizen Verizon. Citizen Verizon empowers Verizon to deliver on its mission to move the world forward through action by expanding digital access and resources, protecting the climate, and ensuring people have the skills needed for jobs of the future. Through Citizen Verizon, and the key pillars of Digital Inclusion, Climate Protection and Human Prosperity, the company's responsible business goals include providing 10 million youths with digital skills training by 2030, supporting 1 million small businesses with resources to help them thrive in the digital economy by 2030, achieving net zero emissions in its operations by 2035, and preparing 500,000 individuals for jobs of the future by 2030. Learn more at CitizenVerizon.com.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed in 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $134.0 billion in 2023. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, and security.

Contact: Hope Arcuri Armanushope.arcuri.armanus@verizon.com336-813-4673

*Based on a survey conducted of more than 4500+ users registered on the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready platform.

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