Elevate Together® Initiative Expands to Minneapolis with Support of Taylor Corporation

NORTH MANKATO, Minn., (May 17, 2022) – Taylor Corporation has joined a coalition of like-minded companies, including The ODP Corporation, JPMorgan Chase and NCR Foundation, to support small businesses through Elevate Together®, a nonprofit initiative designed to accelerate the creation, growth, and prosperity of Black and Hispanic small businesses. The program, powered by Round It Up America®, is now in its second year and has invested nearly $3 million towards its mission to date.

Elevate Together was launched in 2021 by founding corporate partner, The ODP Corporation, to address systemic discrimination and historical racial disparities in business growth and profitability in Black and Hispanic communities. As part of this initiative, eligible small business owners gain access to technical assistance, mentoring, professional networks and more. Select businesses may also receive direct aid in the form of cash grants, products and services.

With support from Taylor Corporation, the newest corporate partner to the Elevate Together® initiative, the program now operates in Minneapolis through partnerships with Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda) and the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota. 

“Taylor Corporation is proud to be an Elevate Together partner with The ODP Corporation and Round It Up America®,” said Charlie Whitaker, CEO of Taylor Corporation. “We are equally proud to be active providers of the mentoring and job training activities that Elevate Together is developing and expanding for its selected business owners. We look forward to broadening this participation as the initiative grows nationally in the future.” 

Small businesses are the driver of Minnesota’s economy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 99.5% of the state’s businesses are small businesses, with more than 11% being Black and Hispanic-owned. 

“Cooperation of this caliber is necessary to challenge the systemic discrimination and systems of disparity,” said Meda President and CEO, Alfredo Martel. “We are proud to partner in a program designed to accelerate the growth and prosperity of the small BIPOC-owned businesses. It is our hope that by supporting BIPOC entrepreneurs, we will increase the economic stability of entire communities.”

“The Latino Chamber of Commerce Minnesota is excited to see the Elevate Together initiative make an impact with our membership.  It’s glad to have a locally based, Minnesota company such as Taylor Corp join us in the efforts to promote and help Latino businesses grow in Minnesota,” said John Pacheco, President of the Latino Chamber of Minnesota.

“With support from Taylor Corporation and the teams at the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota and Meda, we’re excited to help connect Black- and Hispanic-owned small businesses in Minneapolis with new opportunities for education, access and aid through the  Elevate Together® initiative,” said Alex Price, Director of Community Investment for Office Depot, a wholly owned subsidiary of The ODP Corporation.



About Elevate Together®:

Elevate Together® powered by Round It Up America® is a nonprofit initiative designed to address systemic discrimination and historical racial disparities in business growth and profitability in Black and Hispanic communities. Through a partnership with the National Urban League, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Meda, the initiative delivers education, access and aid to Black and Hispanic small businesses. Founded by The ODP Corporation, Elevate Together is supported by a coalition of like-minded companies with a mission to strengthen local communities, foster job creation, and close the racial wealth gap. Learn more at www.elevatetogether.org.

About Taylor Corporation: 

Taylor Corporation is one of the top five graphic communications companies in North America. Headquartered in North Mankato, Minnesota, the company employs more than 8,000 people across operations in 32 states and eight countries and has more than 110 total granted patents and pending applications in various areas of materials science and solution engineering. For more information, visit www.taylor.com.


About the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda):

Meda was founded by a group of Minnesota business leaders who saw BIPOC business ownership as a positive, long-term response to rising economic inequity within minority communities in our state. Meda provides business development services, access to capital and corporate and governmental market support for BIPOC entrepreneurs. Over the years, Meda has helped launch more than 500 BIPOC businesses and assisted more than 25,000 Minnesota BIPOC entrepreneurs. Meda operates a growing Community Development Fund Institution (CDFI) that provides needed capital for minority businesses to become sustainable. Meda is also the host organization for the Minneapolis Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center, which has been recognized by the MBDA as the top performing center four consecutive years from 2016- 2019. For more information, visit meda.net.


About Latino Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota: 

Latino Chamber of Commerce Minnesota is a 501c6 member based, advocacy organization whose purpose is to bring together business, government, corporations, and community for the economic growth of Latino businesses in Minnesota.


About The ODP Corporation:

The ODP Corporation (NASDAQ:ODP) is a leading provider of business services and supplies, products and digital workplace technology solutions to small, medium and enterprise businesses, through an integrated business-to-business (B2B) distribution platform, which includes world-class supply chain and distribution operations, dedicated sales professionals and technicians, online presence, and approximately 1,000 stores. Through its banner brands Office Depot®, OfficeMax®, ODP Business Solutions™, Varis™ and Grand&Toy®, as well as others, the company offers its customers the tools and resources they need to focus on their passion of starting, growing and running their business. For more information, visit news.theodpcorp.com and investor.theodpcorp.com.

ODP, ODP Business Solutions, and Office Depot are trademarks of The Office Club, Inc. OfficeMax is a trademark of OMX, Inc. Varis is a trademark of Varis, LLC. Grand&Toy is a trademark of Grand & Toy, LLC in Canada. ©2022 Office Depot, LLC. All rights reserved. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

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