NAACP and Leslie’s Launches Grant Program for Small Business Certifications


Certifications and official designations can help businesses realize new opportunities to grow. But obtaining these certifications often requires additional resources that can strain small businesses. That’s why one new grant program is providing support specifically for businesses looking to apply for various designations. Read on for more about this program and other small business grants.

NAACP and Leslie’s Certification Boost Grant

NAACP and Leslie’s Certification Boost Grant is accepting applications to help businesses obtain various business certifications. The two organizations are teaming up to provide funds and support for businesses owned by people of color, women, people with disabilities, and those located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones. Eligible businesses can use grants to obtain certifications and official designations like Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women Business Enterprise (WBE), and Disability-Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE). This funding round is open to businesses in five states where Leslie’s operated, including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, and Texas. September 8 is the deadline to apply.

naacp and leslie's launches grant program

Louisiana Innovation Retention Grant

Louisiana is offering supplementary state funding to innovative small businesses that receive federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants. The Louisiana Innovation Retention Grant program may provide up to $100,000 to for-profit, privately owned businesses across the state that receive Phase I or Phase II SBIR/STTR awards. The idea is to spur innovative projects across the state and provide even more incentives for Louisiana businesses to apply for these grants. Recipients will receive awards of two equal amounts disbursed over a two-year period. Applications are now being accepted.

Dubuque Small Business Support Grant

Dubuque, Iowa, recently opened the application period for the city’s Small Business Support Grant. The program offers grants of up to $5,000 to help small businesses cover various operating costs. To qualify, businesses must meet income guidelines and take part in an eight-week personal and professional training program. Grant recipients will also be matched with a mentor as part of the program, which is facilitated by Fountain of Youth. Applications are being accepted now through September 15.

Florida Panhandle Capital Readiness Collaborative

The Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida A&M University received a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency. FAMU will use the funds to create a small business incubator to support disadvantaged individuals interested in launching new businesses. The new Florida Panhandle Capital Readiness Collaborative isn’t expected to directly provide grant funds to small businesses. But the program will provide resources and form partnerships to help minority and underserved entrepreneurs launch and scale businesses.

Reading ARPA Grants

Grant applications are now available for Reading, Pennsylvania’s American Rescue Plan Act Grant program. The city recently announced the program but was still working out details until recently. The program will include $2 million in total funds to support the city’s small businesses. Businesses located on or with plans to relocate to Penn Street may request up to $50,000, while businesses located elsewhere in the city can apply for up to $25,000. The application period is open now and will close on September 29.

Atlanta BeyGood Foundation Grants

Beyoncé’s BeyGood Foundation recently awarded $120,000 in small business grants to entrepreneurs in Atlanta. Twelve small businesses in the Metro Atlanta area received $10,000 in grants as part of the ongoing initiative. The foundation is providing grants at several stops along Beyonce’s world tour. But there isn’t currently a public application available, as businesses are being selected and surprised in each location. The foundation is likely to continue supplying small business grants in additional cities along the tour route.

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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.