Lawsuit charges that grant-writing services firm bilked minority-owned businesses
For small businesses trying to stay afloat during the pandemic, a company that sold grant-writing services seemed to offer a lifeline. In a lawsuit, the FTC and State of Florida say the company promised to get businesses “guaranteed” grants of $25,000 to $250,000, depending on how much they paid for its services. But, the lawsuit says, those promises were false and businesses lost thousands of dollars each.
The lawsuit alleges that the company, Grant Bae, and its owner targeted minority-owned small businesses using social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Clubhouse. The complaint says they falsely claimed that any minority-owned business that paid Grant Bae would get at least $25,000 in grant funding; promised that most Grant Bae clients would get funds within seven days of a grant’s “closing” date; and claimed they would apply for funds on behalf of business owners through the federal government’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.