By Jessi Mitchell

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As part of BET’s Soul Train Awards weekend, and in partnership with host venue the Apollo Theater, ten Harlem businesses and non-profits learned they will each receive a $10,000 microgrant.

The investment comes following BET’s $20 million Saving Our Selves COVID-19 Fund, and expands on The Apollo and The 125th Street Business Improvement District (BID) 2021 Harlem Microgrant program launched in 2020. The grants will support the awardees’ continued recovery from COVID-19, in honor of the entrepreneurial spirit of Soul Train’s innovative creator, Don Cornelius.

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“BET remains committed to the recovery of Black communities as we continue to navigate the effects of the COVID-19 global health crisis,” said BET Chief Communication and Social Impact Officer Jeanine Liburd. “As we gather at the World Famous Apollo for the 2021 Soul Train Awards, BET is honored to take the next step in supporting Black businesses, innovators and leaders in memory of Don Cornelius and beyond.”

BET will partner with the United Way to help feed the Harlem community at two local community-based organizations, Harlem Wellness Center in Central Harlem and West Harlem Group Assistance. Each of those groups will receive one of the microgrants, helping hundreds of Harlem families in time for Thanksgiving.

“The Harlem community has always played an integral role in helping the Apollo create a safe and innovate space for our artists and audiences. At the start of the pandemic, we understood that it was vital to find a way to give back to our neighbors directly, as they ensure Harlem is a vibrant destination for all,” said Apollo President and CEO Jonelle Procope. “I’m thrilled that BET is expanding on the work we began with 125th Street BID, as it is more important than ever that we lift up our community during challenging times and champion today’s leaders.”

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“Our partnership with BET helps us make an impact in the communities we serve here in New York City,” said United Way Senior Vice President of Community Impact Amy Sananman.

Watch the Soul Train Awards on Sunday, Nov. 28, at 8 p.m. on BET.

The 2021 Soul Train Awards premieres Sunday, November 28 at 8 PM ET/PT on BET and BET Her, recognizing the best in Soul and R&B, and will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of Soul Train.

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Harlem businesses and non-profits interested in being part of for the microgrant program can visit www.ApolloTheater.org for guidelines and applications.

Jessi Mitchell