(Updated June 18, 2020 – Read Small Business Grants Part 2 for even more resources).
If you are a small business owner who has experienced setbacks due to COVID-19, you’re not alone. Unfortunately that’s a boat many are in right now.
I know, not super comforting right?
But what IS comforting is knowing that there are some seriously amazing resources available!
It’s going to take a lot of grit and determination on your end to keep going when times get tough, but I’ve done a lot of the front end work by researching grants for you. (You’re welcome!)
From all that research, I’ve compiled a list of financial opportunities that are specifically meant to help businesses who’ve been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus.
Sound like you? Well listen up!
Financial support during a difficult time can make the difference between shutting down and keeping the doors open. Luckily, these programs can help with a variety of expenses, such as payroll, rent, utilities, and any of your other overhead costs.
But the best part? They are grants – not loans!
Grants don’t need to be paid back! It’s essentially FREE MONEY I am helping you get!
I’m rooting for you to succeed and make it through this as unscathed as possible. So no more dillydallying. Time to break it down!
Facebook is giving out a total of $100 million in cash grants and ad credits!
One. Hundred. Million.
They project that 30,000+ small businesses in 30+ countries will benefit from it.
What I really appreciate about it, is their goal to focus investments in businesses they believe are under a real threat from the outbreak. The Global Chief Diversity Officer for Facebook, Maxine Williams, commented that they are really trying to prioritize at least half of the grants to go towards minority businesses. (They consider this to be women and veteran owned businesses).
This grant does have a handful of eligibility requirements you need to meet in order to apply.
But wait, wait, wait. Don’t count yourself out too fast because of that last requirement! There are about 28 different areas in the U.S. that qualify (more than just the Bay Area where it started!)
You can see if you are in a qualifying location and to learn more about the grant program here.
Fingers crossed that you might be pleasantly surprised!
You’ll also want to follow that link I just gave you if you’ve met all the eligibility requirements and want to apply.
The application isn’t open quite yet, but will be in the next couple of weeks. If you follow the link above it will take you to the Business Grants page. Scroll to the bottom of the page to the section labeled “Next Steps”. You can opt to sign up there to receive updates about the application so that you stay ahead of the curve and are the first in line when it opens up!
Bonus tip: while on the website it might benefit you to explore some of the other resources they have available for businesses.
Verizon is putting on a Pay It Forward Live entertainment series in which they will potentially end up making a total donation of $5 million! The funding will be broken up in grants of up to $10,000. They are also really trying to help minorities and are primarily focusing their efforts on helping women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs of color.
More information about the Pay It Forward series and how it will help small businesses can be found here.
Round one of the application to apply for the grant has already closed, but another round will begin mid-April!
Make sure you are registered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling out this form here.
Salesforce realizes that now more than ever, small businesses need help.
That’s why they announced a $5 Million initiative to help small businesses in the U.S. They will also be rolling out support for international businesses soon!
U.S. small business grants will be awarded in amounts of $10,000 each. The purpose of these grants is to provide capital and support small businesses as they work to replenish materials, pay salaries, and/or adapt their business model in an effort to overcome these challenging times.
Applications will open mid-April 2020.
Stay updated, and access other small business resources like articles and webinars by experts, here.
SheaMoisture has donated $1 million in grant funds to small businesses and entrepreneurs of color that have been directly effected by Covid-19.
There are 3 different applications on their site for funding (you could potentially fall into all 3 categories).
Each application has it’s own eligibility requirements so you’ll definitely want to read more about it on their website, here.
But HURRY because the applications close soon!
Business for All
Business for All is an incredible resource for entrepreneurs since it provides mentorship, networking, and grant opportunities year-round.
Eligibility requirements for grant applications are as follows:
Pretty simple, right?
Additionally, given current economic impacts, they’ve also decided to offer $10,000 COVID – 19 emergency grants!
To Apply, you will need to create an account on Business for All. Then apply directly on their website.
While crowd sourcing is always an option, GoFundMe is taking it to another level.
They started a Small Business Relief Fund to help small business owners receive financial support throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. Through the Small Business Relief Fund, qualifying businesses that have raised at least $500 on GoFundMe can receive a matching $500 grant.
To be eligible, business must:
Have been negatively impacted by a government mandate due to the COVID-19 pandemic
If you qualify and are interested in benefiting from the matching grant, follow the instructions here to learn more and apply.
The philanthropy continues!
JPMorgan Chase committed to fund a $50 million global relief effort to aid the immediate public health and long-term economic challenges from COVID-19.
At least $8 million has been reserved to assist small businesses – $5 million in the U.S. and $3 million in international markets (namely China and Europe). And $2 million will be used to assist nonprofits.
You can learn more here.
While free money is great, so is free advertising!
Google is awarding small businesses worldwide $340 million in ad credits, on Google Ads.
Their mission is to alleviate some of the costs of running a business while simultaneously connecting customers and businesses together.
Small businesses who have been active advertisers since the beginning of 2019 will see a credit to their account in the next few months.
Click here to read more about it.
The Red Backpack Fund
Spanx has set up a $5 million fund with GlobalGiving to help female entrepreneurs who have been effected by COVID-19. They are dedicated to helping support women… in more ways than one! (I know, I know… too cheesy. But I couldn’t help it!)
1,000 grants will be awarded at $5,000 each!
The first round of applications closed at the beginning of April, but each month they will be accepting additional applicants. The following dates are when their portal will open again so be sure to set a reminder on your phone/calendar so you don’t miss out!
You can read more about The Red Backpack fund and apply here.
Also wanting to help small business owners, Lowe’s has committed to provide $50 million in grants! (Not to mention all of the other work they are doing to get involved and support healthcare workers, first responders, underserved communities and small businesses during this hard time).
With an understanding of how vital small businesses are to the economy, the home improvement store is partnering with LISC to offer additional support to women and minority owned small businesses. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation’s largest community development organization will be the ones overseeing the process of vetting applications.
The grants are primarily meant to help small business owners with their immediate needs (so think along the lines of paying rent, payroll for workers and outstanding debts to vendors, etc.) Though there are multiple rounds of the application that will open, you don’t want to wait too long and risk missing out on the opportunity. Apply here, for the current round which will close on Wednesday, June 17th.
And Even More!
While I hope you’ve found this helpful, I’m happy to say, this is not a complete list. There are MANY more opportunities.
For instance, your state’s chamber of commerce website likely has a list of financial resources and local grant opportunities.
So keep the research going and apply, apply, apply!
And always remember, I’m here to help! Please reach out if you need assistance preparing financial statements or tax returns – which may be a requirement for some of these grants.
I can also help you audit your financials to see what expenses you can cut back on and where you can save money.
No matter how hard times get, always remember there are options and resources!