Jamila Ross and Akino West knew they would need a little luck if they were going to keep their Overtown hotel afloat during the pandemic.
Ross and West won a $10,000 grant for their Copper Door Bed & Breakfast last week from the Beygood Foundation, a collaboration between the entertainer Beyoncé and the NAACP to support Black-owned businesses affected by the coronavirus.
And that’s not all. In August, after opening a pop-up restaurant while their hotel remained largely uninhabited because of coronavirus restrictions, the couple won $25,000 from Discover Card, which dedicated $5 million to helping Black-owned restaurants. Together with a small business loan, it has allowed the couple to reinvest in their business.
In the midst of it all, Ross spent two to four hours a day applying for grants. “I busted my tail, applying and looking for solutions,” she said. Now that they have been able to receive the support they need, “We were able to create a really inviting space with a super-cool urban garden feel,” Ross said. “The energy feels so good.” “We started by hitting all these road bumps,” she said. “But we have been able to pivot in a few different ways.”