The Council of Fashion Designers of America is responding to the growing number of fashion designers and brands being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The organization has repurposed its CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund initiative by renaming it, A Common Thread. The new grant aims to support those in the industry that are facing severe financial hardship because of the pandemic. The fund is just one of many grants newly available for small businesses affected by the virus.
Here, WWD breaks down the specifics of A Common Thread, including which businesses are eligible and how much aid they can receive.
What is A Common Thread?
The CFDA and Vogue teamed to launch the initiative to raise awareness and funds for American fashion companies impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Who is eligible for A Common Thread?
Any small to medium-size business in the fashion industry that has been running for more than two years may apply for the grant. Small to medium-size businesses are defined as having no more than 30 full-time employees and under $10 million in revenue.
Applicants can include fashion designers, retailers, factories and other fashion, jewelry or apparel companies. Applicants do not have to be CFDA members or a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist.
When can you apply for A Common Thread?
Applications are open now until April 19 for the first round of grants. A second round will run from April 20 to May 3.
How do you apply for A Common Thread?
The application is available through the CFDA’s web site. It calls for information such as annual gross sales and revenue, annual expenses, net assets and cash reserves for both 2018 and 2019. The application also asks for 2020 projected revenue and projected expenses before the pandemic hit, investor information, points of distribution and staff headcount, among other questions.
How much money can businesses receive through A Common Thread?
A Common Thread awards up to $100,000 per recipient. The fund is crowdsourcing donations on its web site and has garnered more than $3 million in donations in just two weeks.
The grant has received donations from the likes of Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren, among others in the fashion industry. Donations are still being accepted.
Who is selecting recipients for A Common Thread?
The CFDA has put together a grant selection committee of industry professionals to decide which businesses will receive the grants.
When do you find out if you were selected for A Common Thread?
The first round of funding will be distributed in mid-May. Recipients will be notified before any public announcements.
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