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UPS announces sponsorship of 'Something in the Water' festival, supports Black-owned small businesses

The company will bring four Black businesses to the small business marketplace at the festival, give $60,000 in grants and gift 100 festival tickets to the owners.

WASHINGTON — UPS plans to uplift a handful of Black-owned businesses this weekend at Pharrell Williams' "Something in the Water" festival on the National Mall.

The company announced that they will be bringing four shops to the festival's small business marketplace, a set up of storefronts that are meant to encourage attendees to support the Black entrepreneurs in honor of Juneteenth, which coincides with the festival. 

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The businesses include Mahogany Books, an Independent bookstore in Southeast; OTHERS COFFEE ONLINE SHOP, an e-commerce roaster with pop-ups in Northwest; District of Clothing, an online apparel store; and Black Pepper Paperie, a Mix-media art and design studio and lifestyle brand.

"Small businesses are the backbone of our communities. In Washington D.C., the success of those diverse-owned businesses is crucial to the development of the city," UPS said via press release.

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The company also announced that, in addition to supporting the businesses, they will donate $60,000 in grants and gift 100 festival tickets to small business owners, along with other events throughout the weekend.

UPS is also participating in several of the festival's weekend events. Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Warren is speaking on the "Elephant in the Room" panel about the intersection of business and culture. The company is also serving as co-host of the "Pull Up and Pitch" alongside Black Ambition, allowing anyone in the city to walk up and pitch their business idea to a panel of judges; the winner gets $20,000 in grants. 

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