Richmond, Ca. – Today, Richmond Main Street Initiative announced its plan to help bring a new online curriculum to small businesses across downtown Richmond: Verizon Small Business Digital Ready.

In partnership with Next Street and LISC, the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready online curriculum is designed to give small businesses the tools they need to thrive in today’s digital economy, including access to personalized learning plans, coaching from experts, and networking opportunities with diverse, industry-specific businesses. 

More than 100,000 small businesses closed due to the pandemic, with a disproportionate impact on Black and Latinx-owned small businesses. Verizon Small Business Digital Ready offers businesses support, aiming to enable digital readiness and drive digital transformation through a customized curriculum that accounts for industry, size, and interests. Richmond Main Street is proud to be working with Verizon to reach those businesses most in need of support within downtown Richmond.

“It is our mission here at Richmond Main Street to collaborate with like-minded organizations, bringing resources and opportunities that support our small business owners in downtown Richmond.  With the ability to be customized and accessible, we view the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready Curriculum as an asset to our downtown small business owners,” says Richmond Main Street Initiative, Executive Director Andrea Portillo-Knowles.

Developed by small businesses, Verizon Small Business Digital Ready provides a personalized experience – providing resources, networking, and coaching tailored to a small business’s specific needs. The program can help small businesses move forward in four ways:

  • Personalized Learning

Content presented by small businesses through brief, information-packed lessons small businesses can use right away. 

  • Expert coaching

Guidance from business experts across marketing, business planning, legal, and more. 

  • Peer Networking

Connections to other small businesses to build their networks.

  • Incentives

A marketplace of tools, solutions, products, and services that can help small businesses. Participants will also be eligible to apply for grant funding exclusive to users of Verizon Small Business Digital Ready.

To register and access, visit

This initiative is one part of Verizon’s commitment to providing one million small businesses with digital tools and resources by 2030 and is central to Verizon’s responsible business plan, Citizen Verizon, for economic, environmental, and social advancement. Launched in 2020 to move the world forward for all, Citizen Verizon leverages technology, innovation, and resources to address the world’s most pressing issues across digital inclusion, climate protection, and human prosperity. As part of Citizen Verizon, Verizon plans to exceed $3 billion in its responsible business investment from 2020-2025 to continue helping vulnerable communities bridge the digital divide and prepare for the digital economy of the future. 


Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology, communications, information, and entertainment products, and services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $128.3 billion in 2020. The company offers data, video, and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security, and control.

Participants who register for Verizon Small Business Digital Ready and complete two courses or mentoring events will be eligible to apply for a $10,000 grant.

Richmond Main Street Initiative is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to revitalizing historic Downtown Richmond, California as a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly urban village offering products, services, arts and entertainment that reflect our community’s rich and diverse heritage. Since 2001, we’ve worked collaboratively with a broad group of stakeholders to implement our transformation strategy designed to ensure a clean and safe neighborhood, preserve businesses and foster entrepreneurship, and position Downtown Richmond as the center of the community and hub of economic and cultural activity.


Contact: Andrea Portillo-Knowles

Phone: (510) 236-4049; Fax: (510) 236-4052


1600 Nevin Plaza

Richmond, Ca 94801


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