Contribution adds to more than $425K raised funds that will be dispersed by WEDI to support local small businesses impacted by pandemic
Buffalo, New York (January 12, 2020) – On the heels of the Buffalo Bills first playoff win in decades, Rich Products is adding to the city’s excitement. The global, family-owned food company, headquartered on Buffalo’s West Side for more than 75 years, today announced that it is teaming up with Buffalo Bills All-Pro Cornerback Josh Norman on behalf of his foundation, Starz 24, to support the Buffalo Business Blitz.
Founded by Norman, in partnership with Mayor Byron Brown and the City of Buffalo, the Buffalo Business Blitz initiative is raising critical funds to support local small businesses that have been hit hardest by COVID-19 restrictions. With Rich’s $75K donation, the Buffalo Business Blitz has raised more than $500K to-date for area small businesses.
“Buffalo Business Blitz shows the winning spirit of Buffalo and Western New York,” said Josh Norman. “I am humbled by the support of the local business community. Thank you to the Rich family for their generosity. We are now $75,000 closer to hitting the half million dollar mark. I encourage everyone to continue to donate so that we can help as many small businesses as possible.”
Small businesses can earn up to $2,500 in financial assistance awards through the Buffalo Business Blitz. The Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI) was selected by Starz 24 to disperse the funds raised through the program.
“Whether it’s your corner coffee shop or your favorite restaurant, we all know a small business that’s facing adversity like never before,” said Jon Dandes, corporate vice president of government relations and special projects, Rich Products and Rich Family Foundation. “As a company that started as a small business on Buffalo’s West Side more than 75 years ago, Rich’s has a deep appreciation for the vibrancy small businesses bring to our community. We’re especially pleased that WEDI, one of our partners within the West Side Promise Neighborhood, has been selected by Starz 24 to administer the grants.”
HOW TO APPLY (limited application window)
From January 13-18, 2021, interested small businesses can apply to the program via an online application form that will be live starting on Wednesday, January 13 at 9:00 a.m.: http://www.wedibuffalo.org/buffalobusinessblitz.
Applicants may include small businesses located in Erie County, NY that filed taxes in 2019. The funding will target businesses that have been most affected by the pandemic, such as brick-and-mortar locations that do not have an e-commerce presence. WEDI will handle all logistics associated with the application process, including application evaluation and administration of the funds.
“Buffalo Business Blitz is an inspiring way for community members to collectively impact our local economy,” said Carolynn Welch, executive director, WEDI. “At WEDI, we’ve been supporting and promoting small businesses for over a decade, but we could have never imagined that those businesses, and so many in Western New York, would face such a detrimental hardship. Buffalo has weathered many storms, but our community always sticks together to support our neighbors.”
Mayor Brown added, “I’m proud of our community for its generosity and strong support to protect our small businesses. I thank Josh Norman for his dedication to the success and livelihood of our community. I also thank the many individuals and organizations who stepped up and donated to this innovative initiative to help Buffalo area businesses.”
Rich’s, also known as Rich Products Corporation, is a family-owned food company dedicated to inspiring possibilities. From cakes and icings to pizza, appetizers and specialty toppings, our products are used in homes, restaurants and bakeries around the world. Beyond great food, our customers also gain insights to help them stay competitive, no matter their size. Our portfolio includes creative solutions geared at helping food industry professionals compete in foodservice, retail, in-store bakery, deli, and prepared foods, among others. Working in 100 locations globally, with annual sales exceeding $4 billion, Rich’s is a global leader with a focus on everything that family makes possible. Rich’s®—Infinite Possibilities. One Family.
About the STARZ 24 Foundation
The STARZ 24 Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded by humanitarian philanthropist Joshua R. Norman. The main mission of STARZ 24 is to provide enrichment to children through community events & youth programs, aiming to inspire them to become future leaders in science, technology, engineering, math, and the fine arts. STARZ 24 seeks also to engage with global leaders to sponsor programs which open pathways for children and youth to economic empowerment, providing equal access to high quality and equitable education, while encouraging innovation, social entrepreneurship, and future generations of world leaders. For more information on STARZ 24 and its initiatives, please visit www.starz24.org.
About the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI)
WEDI’s mission is to strengthen communities through a continuum of educational and financial resources, removing systemic barriers to economic equity for all Western New Yorkers. Founded in 2006 by members of the Westminster Presbyterian Church to improve the quality of life for residents of Buffalo’s West Side, WEDI (the Westminster Economic Development Initiative) has two focus areas—Education and Economic Development—and numerous programs including the West Side Bazaar. The organization’s dual focus on providing access to both educational and financial resources makes WEDI unique among its peers. With a passionate, diverse staff that is representative of the constituents it serves, WEDI is well-poised to realize its vision that all residents of Western New York can succeed and thrive in a culturally inclusive community. For more information on WEDI visit www.wedibuffalo.org.