Bank of America Launches Grants to Support Underserved Businesses in Select Cities

bank of america launches grants to support underserved businesses

Real estate loans can dramatically improve opportunities for entrepreneurs. But they haven’t always been accessible for everyone. Those with low credit, those from underserved communities, and those that struggle to come up with down payment funds often face extra barriers to launching a business. That’s exactly why Bank of America is launching a new program for small businesses looking at new commercial spaces. Read about this opportunity and more small business grants below.

Bank of America Small Business Down Payment Grant Program

Bank of America is supporting small businesses through its Small Business Down Payment Grant Program. The program aims to support growth opportunities and help build generational wealth for minority and women business owners. Currently, the program is only available in select markets, including opportunity zones in Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas, and Los Angeles, with plans to expand in 2023. Eligible businesses will have increased access to commercial real estate loans and have the option to apply for down payment grants that cover up to half of this expense, with a cap of $25,000.

Montgomery County Small Business Rental Assistance Grant Program

Montgomery County, Maryland is offering another round of rental assistance funding to support its local small businesses. Eligible businesses that were negatively impacted by the pandemic can apply for up to $10,000. The program specifically supports businesses in the retail sector, like gift shops and small gyms that did not receive funds during the program’s first round last year. This round includes a total of $2 million in funding. September 30 is the deadline to apply.

Wisconsin Diverse Business Assistance Grant Program

The state of Wisconsin is providing funds for a statewide grant initiative to support diverse small businesses. This is the second round of funding for the Diverse Business Assistance Grant program. The governor has dedicated $15.7 million to this round of the program, which targets rural, veteran-owned, and LGBT-owned businesses that were disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The program is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act. And grants will be distributed through various groups and nonprofits throughout the state.

Enfield ARPA Small Business Grant Program

Enfield, Connecticut is preparing to unveil its ARPA Small Business Grant Program. The program will offer one-time direct financial assistance to eligible small businesses that are still recovering from the pandemic. The town has earmarked $250,000 for the program, which comes from Enfield’s allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds. The Town Council and Economic Development Commission are still working out the details of the program. And then they will launch an informational campaign in September to educate businesses and the public about the program. Currently, October 1 is the targeted launch date for the program.

Detroit Means Business

Detroit is allocating $9 million to support small businesses recovering from the pandemic. Detroit Means Business is a small business service initiative that’s part of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation. Through this grant program, Detroit Means Business will distribute direct financial assistance and other support services to qualifying small businesses. Funding for this program comes from the city’s share of American Rescue Plan Act funds. The initiative will include $2 million in loans and grant awards, $3 million for debt pay-down assistance, and $2 million for direct support services like workshops, seminars, and technical assistance.

California Drought Relief Grant Program

California recently allocated $75 million in funding to a new drought relief grant program. The program will support small ag businesses, specifically those that support production agriculture. Additionally, 20 percent of the funds are earmarked for small gross revenue or gross profit in 2022, compared to 2019, which was the last normal year of planting. Grants may provide between $60,000 and $100,000, depending on the amount of losses related to the drought. Relevant ag businesses must have 100 or fewer employees to qualify for the program.

Image: Depositphotos

More in: ,

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers 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.