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News and updates from around the Ujima Ecosystem.

Ujima Voting Members Approve Kush Groove Clothing LLC Investment

February 8th, 2023 — Boston Ujima Project is pleased to announce that we successfully reached quorum on the 2023 Kush Groove Investment Vote.

Members overwhelmingly approved a $200,000 loan to Kush Groove Clothing, LLC over 4 years. Overall, 57.2% of the electorate participated in this vote, with over 80% approving the investment. Note that four members abstained from voting, and six members voted ‘no’ on this investment – the largest number of any vote so far. Read more in the ballot results breakdown.

When asked why they wanted to invest in Kush Groove Clothing LLC, voters had a myriad of reasons to support it; some voters said:

"Small black-owned businesses are part of the foundation and fabric of Boston and its surrounding neighborhoods. The contributions that Mr. Johnson-Smith and Mr. Pires continue to make to their communities to ensure economic equity and also inclusion have been proven throughout the years. A vote for this funding is a vote of confidence that I stand behind."

"I think the owners have been consistent hard-working business owners, know their market, and have been able to pivot with COVID. My only concern is their financial projections for next year. The cost of goods seems extremely high, so I’m wondering where this projected cost came from. Also regarding any legal concerns from investment members: it would be good to keep Ujima members up to date on any growing concerns or changes in regulations.”

"I have been aware of Kush Groove for several years, and have seen the success that they've had, and believe they have a strong community-rooted business which will benefit from growth through capital investment."

In every investment vote, members are empowered with investment memos and other materials to guide their decision-making. These and other Ujima voting members took time to review materials and took a critical approach to casting their ballots.

Additionally, when asked how they would support Kush Groove Clothing LLC, beyond investment, voters committed to:

→ Spreading the word about Kush Groove Clothing LLC (75%)

→ Attending events at Kush Groove Clothing LLC (69%)

→ Shopping with Kush Groove Clothing LLC (51%)

Last year, Kush Groove was invited to join the Ujima Good Business Alliance, which consists of an interview process that verifies that local organizations are operationalizing social justice through our minimum 36 Good Business Standards.

In addition to the funding provided by the Ujima Fund, Kush Groove will also enjoy technical assistance, business development, and marketing support as part of its acceptance into Ujima’s Good Business Alliance.


About the Ujima Good Business Alliance

Ujima Good Business Alliance is committed to advancing social and economic justice through the private sector. Ujima Good Business Alliance (UGBA) is a local business association sponsored by the Boston Ujima Project for community-oriented companies within its network.

Members of the UGBA are business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs who are committed to advancing social and economic justice through the private sector. Ujima Businesses align their corporate practices with their values by creating good jobs, sharing ownership and wealth, meeting local needs, and generating community benefits. Business Alliance Members find strength in unity, and value cooperation over competition to achieve shared success.


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