Small business grant funds can help businesses achieve a huge array of goals, from starting a new venture to improving existing facilities. The key is to find programs that align with your mission and current projects. This week, communities across the U.S. launched programs for everything from startup education to safety and security upgrades. Read about them below.
Location Lovingston is a new entrepreneurship education program and grant competition for businesses in Nelson County, Virginia. The program will offer up to $40,000 in business investment grants to four businesses in the village of Lovingston. To participate, businesses must first go through the eight business development courses that are part of the program, and then participate in a pitch competition. Both local and non-local businesses are eligible to enroll in the educational portion. And there’s a virtual option available as well. The deadline to enroll is February 25.
BGE Energizing Small Business Grant
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company is launching a new grant program to support small businesses in its Maryland-based service area. The BGE Energizing Small Business Grant originally launched back in 2021 and has already awarded $8 million in grants to 400 small businesses. During this round, eligible companies can apply for grants of $20,000 through Hello Alice’s online platform. The deadline to apply is March 24.
Santa Rosa Small Business Support Program
Santa Rosa, California is offering grants to local businesses looking to complete improvement and repair projects around their buildings and grounds. The Small Business Support Program will use American Rescue Plan Act funds to support businesses in the city’s underserved areas. Grant amounts are likely to vary. But the city aims to cover an average of 70 percent of the cost of each approved project. Just 20 percent of each approved grant will be distributed up front, and the rest will come as reimbursement funds. The application period will close June 2024 or when all funds have been allocated.
DWWF Small Business Innovation Fund
The Downtown Walla Walla Foundation is facilitating a grant program for small businesses in Columbia, Garfield, and Walla Walla Counties. The state of Washington provided the foundation with $635,000 in funding to launch the program, which will prioritize businesses owned by women, veterans, and BIPOC entrepreneurs. Some businesses may also be eligible for the DWWF Small Business Innovation Fund Impact Award, which is a technical assistance grant that provides space and support rather than funding. The deadline to apply for this program is February 28.
New Ulm Small Business Incentive Grant Program
New Ulm, Minnesota recently allocated more funds and changed some rules for its Small Business Incentive Grant Program. The program originally launched in 2019 to support startups with expenses during their first year in business. It has awarded between $50,000 and $100,000 in grants each year. But it has since become popular enough to create a lengthy wait list. In fact, all funds that were previously approved for 2023 have already been allocated. So the board voted to dedicate an additional $30,000 to the program, which will be distributed in grants of $5,000 rather than $10,000, in order to serve more businesses. The board also voted to prioritize businesses that are already open, and to require business owners to meet with a consultant to create a business plan before applying.
Riverside Police Department Safety and Security Program
The Riverside, California Police Department is offering grants to local businesses looking to improve safety and security around their property. Grants can cover expenses related to installing lights, cameras, fencing, security systems, and related upgrades. The department must approve all new projects before awarding funding. Grants are funded through the American Rescue Plan Act and will be dispersed in $10,000 increments.
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