McGrath Imports Donates $50,000 to the Chicago Urban League to Support Black-Owned Businesses
Chicago-based auto dealer McGrath Imports has donated $50,000 to the Chicago Urban League’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The funds will help provide training and other resources to help Black business owners take their established businesses to the next level.
“The Chicago Urban League recognizes that business ownership is an important pathway for decreasing the racial wealth gap and improving our communities,” said Karen Freeman-Wilson, the League’s President & CEO. “Our work to support black entrepreneurs would not be possible without the generosity of donors like McGrath Imports. We are incredibly grateful for this contribution.”
Mat McGrath, general manager at McGrath City Mazda, said he recognizes that many entrepreneurs face disadvantages in starting up and growing their businesses. The family-owned company wanted to do something to support those business owners, many of whom continue to be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My family and I have always believed in giving back to our community, and using our privilege, resources, and influence to make this world better than the way we came into it,” McGrath said. “As I move up the ranks in my family’s company, it’s important to me to give back to charities and causes that I truly believe in. I am very blessed to have been given all the resources needed to succeed in life. While hard work and dedication plays a role in most people’s success, I recognize that the resources available to me throughout my life have given me an advantage that most people don’t have.”
McGrath added, “There is clear economic inequity in the black community. Brilliant and talented boys and girls will never meet their full potential simply because they were not given the resources to do so. This needs to change. We do this not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it makes us better as a community, city, and country overall. With more people being able to meet their full potential, there are more people contributing to make society a better place for all.”
The Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CEI) provides entrepreneurs with the tools needed to maximize revenues, reduce costs, increase profitability, and drive job creation. The Center also helps businesses obtain supplier diversity certifications, respond to bids on public and private contracts, and increase the number and average dollar value of contracts won. Since May 2020, the CEI has assisted hundreds of business owners in efforts to recover from disruptions due to the pandemic, including partnering with the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois in distributing emergency grants. The CEI served more than 1,200 clients during the League’s last fiscal year.
“The biggest obstacles Black business owners face are lack of access to capital, lack of access to new customers, and lack of management knowledge,” said Jason Johnson, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. “This donation will help us address the knowledge gap for our clients and direct them to resources and strategies to overcome the other two challenges.”
To learn more about the Chicago Urban League and the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, visit www.chiul.org.
About the Chicago Urban League
Since 1916, the Chicago Urban League—through collaborative community, corporate and civic relationships—has helped people find jobs, secure affordable housing, enhance their educational experiences and grow their businesses. We are passionate advocates for economic and racial equity for Black Chicagoans. Visit www.chiul.org and follow us on Twitter at @ChiUrbanLeague and Facebook at @ChicagoUrbanLeague.