published on May 11, 2020 - 1:07 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

A Fresno massage therapist is among 225 small business owners nationwide receiving a $10,000 grant from Verizon.

The grant is part of Verizon’s #PayItForward initiative to help small businesses meet payroll, pay rent and cover immediate operational needs.

Verizon just recently increased its funding for the program by $2.5 million, for a total of $7.5 million.

Shelby Strategier has been a massage therapist for more than 16 years. She is the owner of Shelby Strategier, Therapeutic Massage, which serves corporate clients, hospitals and clinics with an office in Fresno.

Strategier heard about the grant program through someone at Fresno State that works in a department that handles grants. 

“Things like this are offered to people that are barely hanging on — it could go a long way,” Strategier said. “It could go a lot further with small businesses. Its too bad that there wasn’t more available for people who need it really early on.” 

More than 55,000 small businesses applied to the Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund through the Local Initiatives Support Corp., or LISC, a New York-based social enterprise nonprofit that supports projects and programs to revitalize communities.

Of the businesses receiving grants, 62% are women-owned, 96% minority-owned and 12% are veteran-owned. The grantees are in cities and towns nationwide, with 87% operating in underserved communities that do not have access to flexible, affordable capital.

Verizon is planning three rounds of grants for small businesses, with the final round of applications opening May 14.

For more information on how to apply for the grant, visit the LISC website.

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