By Ali Hartman Dec 01, 2020
Nothing in life is certain. We build unpredictability into our business models. We factor it into our investments and our personal lives. We live with constant risk. And calculate potential benefits. We try to build flexibility and resiliency. We do our best to plan for the unexpected.
And yet 2020, the pandemic, and the resulting dislocation were nothing we could have planned for and, collectively, they have profoundly altered our way of life, our homes, our work and our communities. The last year has challenged and changed us in ways big and small, in ways still to come. I know it has been hard, and I know you have kept going despite the hardships.
While this year has taken so much from us and asked so much of us, it has also provided us with many opportunities to meet this moment. Opportunities to assess, edit, listen, learn, lean in and show up, not just individually but collectively. In that spirit, I am proud to have helped our Firm launch the KKR COVID-19 Relief Effort earlier this year.
Our $50-million commitment strives to meaningfully help those most impacted by the pandemic and the resulting economic dislocation. It aims to support our KKR portfolio company employees, engage and inspire KKR employees as changemakers, support small businesses around the world and strategically partner with catalytic nonprofits. We are accomplishing this through a series of programs and initiatives including KKR Grants and KKR Small Business Builders, two of our cornerstone offerings.
KKR Grants is a global effort focused on finding the most innovative and effective nonprofits, and then supporting them with meaningful financial grants from KKR. The program strives to help leading local, national and global organizations to do more at a time when the challenges facing our communities are tremendous. Through a series of grants coupled with strategic support, we aim to be true partners to the nonprofits we invest with and are focused on organizations whose efforts align with the following priority areas for KKR:
- Communities: Support for vulnerable populations through efforts focused on food security, safe housing, public health, and disaster relief
- Opportunities: Support for innovative pathways to workforce recovery and development
- Heroes: Support for teachers, first responders, essential workers and front line medical professionals
KKR Small Business Builders is also a grants-based program, created in partnership with small business experts at Hello Alice and GEN Global. This program targets diverse and dynamic small business owners, many of whom are struggling to meet this moment. Through a grant from KKR and wraparound services from Alice and GEN, we are helping them better sustain their operations, maintain or create jobs, and manage or pivot their business model in light of the pandemic. Even when we work with big companies, we never forget that all big companies were once an entrepreneur with an idea who started a small business. We are proud of this program that will allow us to support hundreds of small businesses, many of which are the backbone of their communities and critical to healthy, thriving economies.
Today we announced the first round of awards for both KKR Grants and KKR Small Business Builders. From more than a thousand applicants, we selected 55 small business owners and 25 nonprofits as recipients. Be sure to check out the lists below.
With our busy days and the nature of remote work, it’s easy to feel disconnected. I along with more than 50 other KKR employees had the great privilege of helping to select and notify these nonprofits and small businesses. With each notification we were reminded of what is needed and what is possible. We are so grateful to have been able to notify these grantees and feel the enthusiasm, hear the cheers and share the tears.
The recipients we announce today are only the beginning. If you know of any mission-aligned organizations, please share our KKR Grants program with them. Alternatively, if you know an awesome small business that is struggling right now, please share the KKR Small Business Builders program with them. We are eager to continue to expand our impact to watch the recipients of these efforts survive, recover, grow and thrive – all in their own ways. And we plan to be there every step of the way, because together we can do so much.
KKR Small Business Builders Round 1 Recipients
Anton's | New York, NY
Sitpinyo Muay Thai & Fitness | Hong Kong
Justin Gurland and Zac Clark
Release Recovery | Yorktown Heights, NY
The Village Den | New York, NY
Lekha | New Orleans, LA
Rockin' Baker Incorporated | Fayetteville, AR
The Discovery Years | San Jose, CA
Charleston Power Yoga | Charleston, SC
Milkweed Arts | Phoenix, AZ
Teri Van Goethem
DC Born & Bread | Washington, D.C.
A Child's Place | McHenry, IL
Thomas C. Trotman
TNT Construction Training | Denver, CO
Michael A. Robinson
Dallas Costume Shoppe | Dallas, TX
Little Green Cyclo | South San Francisco, CA
Yetter's Diner | Augusta, NJ
The Hideout Theatre | Austin, TX
Precision Landscape Services | Portland, OR
Janie's Life-Changing Baked Goods | New York, NY
The Astoria Bookshop | New York, NY
Art Coop | Urbana, IL
Sherille D. Barber
Barber Therapy & Associates | Rock Hill, SC
Little Daydreamers Learning Center 2 | New York, NY
Camp Friendship | Palmyra, VA
Flagship Real Estate Group | Encinitas, CA
Mischief Management | New York, NY
Synergos Association Management | Indianapolis, IN
Capstone Calling | West Bend, WI
Richards Family Group | Willowick, OH
Polarity | Ann Arbor, MI
Bard & Baker | Troy, NY
W.Heir's | Winter Springs, FL
Progressive Health & Performance | Murrieta, CA
Poshy Paws | Peoria, AZ
ZMD | Madison, WI
Playcenter | Lakewood, CA
Century Travel | Austin, TX
Homestead Inn | Wolf Point, MT
Academy for Caregiving Excellence | Tucson, AZ
Inner Me | Houston, TX
Duran Central Pharmacy | Albuquerque, NM
Urgent & Primary Care Of Clarksdale | Clarksdale, MS
RollerCade | Detroit, MI
Game Theory Restaurant + Bar | Fort Worth, TX
Elixir Mind Body Massage | Denver, CO
Debbie's Dance Studio | Williamson, WV
Supply Locale | Chicago, IL
MrCleanSD | San Diego, CA
Small Batch Kitchen Cafe and Market | Lansdale, PA
Isabel Blackwell | Portland, OR
PiperWai | New York, NY
Love E | Atlanta, GA
Kristi K May
Legend Acres | Surprise, AZ
Nova Home Care | Farmington Hills, MI
Madre Luna | Corona, CA
SensationAll Kids Gym | Concord, CA
KKR Grants Round 1 Recipients
Communities: Support for vulnerable populations through efforts focused on food security, safe housing, public health, and disaster relief
- Children's Rights
- Deutsche Franziskanerprovinz KdöR
- Food Bank For New York City
- Headstrong Counselling
- Hour Children
- Jugendliche in Not e.V.
- La Casa de las Madres
- Little Essentials
- Martha's Table
- Meals on Wheels of San Francisco
- New Alternatives for Children
- North Texas Food Bank
- The Bowery Mission
- Women's Aid Ireland
Opportunities: Support for innovative pathways to workforce recovery and development
- Defy Ventures
- Eight Million Stories, Inc.
- Clubhouse International
- The HOPE Program
- Year Up, Inc.
Heroes: Support for teachers, first responders, essential workers and front line medical professionals
- 826 Valencia
- N.Y. Police and Fire Widows' & Children's Benefit Fund, Inc.
- Save the Children
- Small Steps Nurturing Center
- Southern Area Hospice Services