FirstBank, one of the nation’s largest privately held banks with a focus on “banking for good,” is partnering with the Phoenix Suns to announce the return of its FirstBank Empowerment Awards. This season-long initiative aims to strengthen marginalized communities by providing financial grants and marketing support to minority-owned businesses across the Valley.
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“We know minority-owned businesses often face disparities, especially when it comes to accessing resources that can help with business growth,” said Humphrey Shin, FirstBank Phoenix Market President. “We hope this program helps bolster historically underserved businesses and advances diversity, equity, and inclusion across Arizona communities. We’re glad the Suns share the same goals of inclusivity.”
Throughout the 2023–2024 season, FirstBank and the Suns invite small business owners in Arizona to apply for the opportunity to receive a $5,000 grant courtesy of FirstBank. Winners will also receive exposure through FirstBank and the Suns’ online and social media channels and on-court recognition during a Phoenix Suns game.
A total of six small businesses will be selected throughout the season, each corresponding to a specific category:
Los Suns Small Business MVP
Nominations are open to Hispanic and Latino-owned businesses in Arizona.
Entry Period: October 1 – October 31, 2023
ORIGINATIV Entrepreneur Award
Nominations are open to Native American-owned businesses in Arizona.
Entry Period: November 1 – November 30, 2023
Black Excellence Award
Nominations are open to Black-owned businesses in Arizona.
Entry Period: December 1 – December 29, 2023
Nominations are open to woman-owned businesses in Arizona.
Entry Period: January 4 – February 1, 2024
Business of Pride Award
Nominations are open to LGBTQ+-owned businesses in Arizona.
Entry Period: February 8 – March 8, 2024
AAPI Business Award
Nominations are open to Asian American and Pacific Islander-owned businesses in Arizona.
Entry Period: March 13 – April 13, 2024
Since partnering with the Phoenix Suns and Mercury in 2019, FirstBank has contributed over $130,000 to the local community through donations to nonprofit organizations and small business grants.
In addition, the bank financed more than $400 million across 1,100 minority families and businesses through its Multicultural Banking Centers and regularly hires customers for its events and promotions. The company has also been known for promoting diverse businesses across its ads, online, and social channels, believing economic prosperity begins with successful business.
For additional information about the FirstBank Empowerment Awards and to nominate a local small business, please visit suns.com/empowerment.