Hyundai donates to three Black-owned Savannah businesses

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 12:44 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - While construction continues on Hyundai’s Metaplant in Bryan County, the automaker is giving back in Savannah.

To celebrate Black History Month, Hyundai recently gave three Black-owned business in the Hostess City a combined $45,000.

Owners of The Culturist Union, Luxe The Salon and Savannah Sauce Company each now have $15,000 in the bank. It’s all part of a continuing initiative from Hyundai Motor America.

“During Black History Month, we develop what’s called a Progress Project where Hyundai provides financial support to three Black-owned businesses so that way they can foster growth in their community,” Hyundai Motor America CSR Director Brandon Ramirez said.

Latecka Moore-Early is the owner of Luxe the Salon. She says she’s using the money to buy new salon stations and shampoo bowls among other projects.

“I am ecstatic that it’s all done and I’m able to share and let the word out that I can tell my clients what really happened, because we had to keep it a secret. So, today feels amazing,” Moore-Early said.

It’s money that these business owners say will help them boost storefronts ahead of projected population growth from Hyundai’s new electric vehicle plant.

“It will hopefully bring more people into our businesses to actually get their hair done. It’s great for all of us all around,” Moore-Early said.

Elbi Elm is the owner of coffee shop The Culturist Union. She says partnerships like the one her shop now has with Hyundai can benefit both businesses.

“Their employees are going to be our neighbors. They’re going to be people who work, live, eat, shop, and play in Savannah. So, why not support the businesses that your employees are really going to be patronizing on a daily basis,” Elm said.

And while Elm says she’s relieved to now be able to improve plumbing and accessibility at her store, holding up the check was also a dream come true.

“Any time you can hold up a big check, is, you know, bucket list item crossed off. I feel good,” Elm said.

This is the second year Hyundai says Project Progress has awarded funds to Black-owned businesses, but it’s the first year the area of focus has been the Coastal Empire.