Grants Encourage Businesses to Make Use of Vacant Storefronts

Last year, Boston Launched a successful grant program to encourage entrepreneurs to make the most of vacant storefront locations across the city. Now, the city is launching another round of funding to make even more of an impact. Read more about this small business grant opportunity and others in the roundup below.

Boston SPACE Grants

Boston just announced a second round of its SPACE grants program to support small businesses and fill vacant commercial space Downtown and other neighborhoods. The SPACE Grants program, which stands for Supporting Pandemic Affected Community Enterprises, will award grants of up to $200,000 to up to 20 businesses during this round. Eligible businesses can use funds to open their first physical location or expand to a new location in the city. Businesses filling vacant storefronts downtown and those that were most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will receive priority. The deadline for this funding round is November 10.

grants to make use of vacant storefronts

New Jersey STEP Grant

The New Jersey Business Action Center (NJBAC) recently received $850,000 in federal funds to support the New Jersey State Trade Expansion Program. The program will use funds to support eligible small businesses entering the export market or those looking to expand their international trade efforts. The grant is part of a nationwide initiative by the U.S. Small Business Administration, which awards funding to various state agencies so they can disperse it to businesses interested in making the most of international trade opportunities. The NJBAC’s Office of Export Promotion will oversee the funding program for small businesses.

King County Department of Local Services Storefront Repair Program

King County, Washington, is overseeing a new grant program to support small businesses that have experienced vandalism or break-ins. The King County Department of Local Services Storefront Repair Program is open to businesses in unincorporated parts of the county with ten employees or less. Those businesses can apply for up to $5,000, which can be used to repair or restore storefronts that were damaged by vandalism. Eligible business types include retail, grocery, food service, medical, and professional service businesses, among others. The county is currently accepting applications, and the application period will run through December 31, pending the availability of funds.

Accessity U.S. Bank Foundation Grant

Southern California nonprofit lender Accessity recently received a $750,000 multiyear grant from the U.S. Bank Foundation. Accessity will use the funds to help small business owners in the lender’s six-county Southern California service area, specifically providing access to funding and educational resources. The organization specializes in helping businesses that have struggled to access capital due to short or non-existent operating histories, past credit issues, or language barriers. The three-year grant from the U.S. Bank Foundation will allow the organization to continue and expand that mission.

AICPA Foundation Grants

The AICPA Foundation is offering grant scholarships to CPA exam candidates and accounting students. The program includes more than $75,000 in funds, which are available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents with financial needs who are seeking a CPA license. Up to 50 candidates will receive up to $1,500 through this program, which can be used to cover fees related to the exam or preparatory courses and materials. The grant isn’t specific to those looking to start businesses but can be useful for those looking to start CPA firms in the future. Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs Grant

Walmart’s philanthropic arm,, recently presented a grant to the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs in downtown Atlanta. The $800,000 grant aims to support the Russell Center’s efforts to stimulate entrepreneurship in Atlanta’s Black community. The organization will use grant funds to create and staff a new academy to teach the fundamentals of entrepreneurial success.

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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.