On today’s Business Beat, Jeff discusses a new grant program designed to provide support for underrepresented small business owners. If you quality, apply now!
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Good morning, Paul! Today’s Business Beat is presented by our good friends at Digital Resource. As small businesses continue to feel the impact of the pandemic, many still need support to keep their doors open. And a new grant program has just been announced that is intended to provide support to underrepresented small business owners. American Express has partnered with Main Street America to launch this grant program. It’s a $1.65 million, year-round program called Inclusive Backing. Now, this is part of American Express’ Backing Small Initiative, and the program will provide hundreds of underrepresented, small businesses with financial support, as well as other resources to address their critical needs and challenges on the heels of this pandemic. The program will award more than 250 grants of $5,000 each in four cycles over the next 12 months and the grants are intended to cover things like physical improvements to the businesses, rent payroll, other operating expenses, fees associated with expanding the business to e-commerce sales and other related types of costs. Now the first grant cycle will provide grants to both small business owners with disabilities and/or those who identify as Asian, Asian American and/or Pacific Islander. Applications will be judged on things like feasibility of the proposal, extent to which the grant will help address an acute business need and how the grant will help improve the viability of the business. Now, applications are open for this first cycle until Nov. 29, so if you qualify, you need to get on this now and again, Paul, this is grant funding, not debt funding, so it’s highly attractive capital if you’re a qualifying business. Go to mainstreet.org to learn more and apply. I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of startupnation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat brought to you by Dell Technologies on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.