$2 Million Available in Small Business Loans and Grants Across the U.S.


$2 million in small business loans and grants available

Both grants and loans can provide major relief for struggling small businesses – especially during times of crisis. The recent wildfires in Maui created major issues for local businesses and residents. And the federal government is now extending a deadline for a major loan program. Read about this and some small business grant programs below.

Maui Federal Disaster Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration recently extended the deadline for Hawaii businesses and residents to apply for the SBA federal disaster loan. This funding opportunity addresses the property damage caused by the Maui wildfires and associated high winds that took place from August 8 to September 30, 2023. There’s a 45-day window extending past the FEMA registration cutoff of December 11, during which the SBA will continue to accept loan applications for property damage from businesses and residents. No additional documentation or explanations are required from applicants during this extended timeframe. The loans are available to businesses of various sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, as well as homeowners and renters, aiding in the repair or replacement of property harmed in the disaster. The SBA offers the option of additional funds for future disaster mitigation measures. Small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, businesses involved in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations of any size might be eligible for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan up to $2 million. This loan aims to cover financial obligations and operating costs that would have been manageable if not for the disaster. It can be utilized for fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other financial obligations impacted by the disaster. The new deadline to apply for funds is January 25, 2024.

Highland Park Small Business Facade Improvement Program

The city council in Highland Park, Illinois is revamping its Small Business Facade Improvement Program. They recently agreed to implement several enhancements to the program, which has been helping local businesses and property owners since 2002. The modifications include increasing the grant cap from $5,000 to $20,000 annually, which recipients are required to match. Additionally, the program is expanding to open up eligibility to more businesses and increase the scope of permissible improvements. Changes in the program’s wording are also part of the update. These changes clarify that eligible businesses must contribute to sales tax revenue, remove the requirement that applicants be for-profit entities, and restrict funding requests to one specific improvement per building within a five-year span.

Pierce County Small Business Strengthening and Security Grant Program

Pierce County, Washington is offering a financial boost to qualifying small businesses through the Small Business Strengthening and Security Grant Program. Through the program, small businesses located in unincorporated areas of Pierce County or in towns and cities with fewer than 8,000 residents are eligible. Businesses must have been operational for a minimum of two years and employ no more than 20 full-time staff. The towns and cities that qualify under this population limit include Buckley, Carbonado, Eatonville, Fircrest, Milton, Pacific, Roy, Ruston, South Prairie, Steilacoom, and Wilkeson. Qualified small businesses have the opportunity to receive a reimbursement covering half of their eligible expenses, with a maximum grant of $10,000. Qualifying expenses encompass capital investments such as buying new equipment, appliances, furniture, security upgrades, or costs related to enhancing facilities. This also extends to security upgrades like installing new lighting, alarm systems, cameras, secure doors, bollards, and fencing. The grant will operate on a matching basis. The program is just waiting on a final signature for approval.

Iron County Small Business Grant Program

Iron County, Utah’s Small Business Grant program, managed by the Iron County Economic Opportunity Board and Cedar City Business & Innovation Center, is set to distribute $60,000 in funds. The aim of these grants is to support projects that contribute to the county’s economic development. The initial stage of pre-application will help assess if businesses qualify for the financial aid. The final date for submitting pre-applications is January 12. Businesses that pass this preliminary round will be asked to complete a detailed application for further evaluation. And recipients will have to match the funding they receive on a one-to-one basis.

Idaho STEP Grants

Idaho recently received a State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant, amounting to $233,000. This grant is designated to aid the expansion of small business exporters throughout Idaho. The STEP grant, partially funded by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), is managed by Idaho Commerce. Eligible small businesses can access a range of STEP-supported initiatives, provided they meet the SBA’s criteria. These opportunities include educational sessions on exporting, financial support, a digital global program designed to enhance international online presence and e-commerce capabilities, and participation in international industry-specific trade shows led by the state. Although the current application period for STEP funds is closed, it is expected to reopen in August 2024.

Marquette Match on Main Grant Program

Michigan is launching a new cycle of its Match on Main grant program, targeting small businesses in the state’s downtown districts. The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) in Marquette is now accepting applications from businesses that qualify for this opportunity. Match on Main is a reimbursement-based grant, offering up to $25,000 to small businesses through applications processed and overseen by the DDA. Each DDA can put forward two applications representing two different eligible businesses, but only one grant per DDA will be awarded. The grant money can be allocated for various purposes, including technical support, interior building renovations, developing outdoor spaces on a permanent or semi-permanent basis, and other operational costs like marketing and inventory procurement. The deadline for submitting applications to the Marquette DDA is February 5.

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.

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