GRANT CYCLE OPENS! 'Backing Small Business' from Main Street America & American Express

Application window open 3/14/24 - 4/7/24; Info Session 3/13 @ NOON [Registration link below]

Elisa Lyew, owner of Elisa’s Love Bites in New York, NY, was a grant recipient in the fourth cycle of Backing Small Businesses in 2022. Photo courtesy of Elisa’s Love Bites Dessert Atelier.

Supporting Economic Vitality for Small Business Owners

In partnership with American Express, the Backing Small Businesses grant program supports economically vulnerable and under-resourced small businesses with "community reach." This year, eligible small business owners can apply for $10,000 grants for projects that grow or improve their businesses by building community, supporting their economic viability, or bolstering meaningful change.

A small business with community reach is involved in and critical to the surrounding community or serves a cultural- or ability-specific need. These businesses are often long-standing or legacy businesses that provide continuity and a sense of identity to a neighborhood or specific cultural group. Businesses with community reach have also been intentional about developing core values and a business model that supports their communities or addresses an acute community need. For example, a business that regularly hosts free concerts featuring local artists, or a shop that provides goods or services that uniquely serve a customer base in the community.

Of the 500 recipients selected for $10,000 grants, a limited subset of 25 recipients will be awarded $30,000 Enhancement Grants, which will allow those business owners the opportunity to create transformative change within their business and in their community (for example, by giving back, partnering with community members, addressing cultural, environmental and/or access needs in their community, opening a new location and/or adding staffing). Recipients of the $10,000 grant will be required to submit a final grant report using a template provided. In addition to questions regarding the completed project, the report will include prompts on how the business would use the $30,000 Enhancement Grant. Enhancement Grant project proposals can be related to the $10,000 grant proposal or they may constitute a separate project.

Applications will be accepted from 9:00 am CT on March 14, 2024, through 11:59 pm CT on April 7, 2024. The application period will end once 5,000 applications have been submitted, even if that occurs before the deadline.

READ MORE and REGISTER for the Webinar: https://www.mainstreet.org/howwecanhelp/backingsmallbusinesses

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