Communities Launch Small Business Grants, Loans, and Technical Assistance Programs

Small business grants provide just one avenue of support for local economies. Loans, technical assistance, and other initiatives can also make a positive impact. This week, several local groups and government organizations launched programs to support small businesses in their communities. Read on for a full list.

Albany Small Business Vitality Assistance Program

Albany, New York, just launched the second round of its Small Business Vitality Assistance Program. Funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, the program offers grants of between $2,000 and $15,000. Grant amounts will be based on each business’s demonstrated need, impact on business growth, prior support, and ability to meet other eligibility requirements. Interested applicants can fill out an online intake form to be contacted by a representative for further information.

Purple Line Construction Grants

Montgomery County is offering support for small businesses that have been negatively affected by the construction of the Purple Line. This is the third funding phase, and eligible businesses can apply for $5,000 to offset extra expenses or losses related to the ongoing project. The online application portal for phase three is expected to launch on August 15. And the county is hosting informational webinars on August 29, 30, and 31. Grant applications will be due by September 30.

Urban Strategies Small Business Loan Fund

Truist Foundation recently awarded a $1.5 million grant to the nonprofit Urban Strategies. The organization will use the funds to launch a small business loan fund, in part to support Black- and minority-owned businesses in Baltimore along with similar initiatives in Norfolk, Virginia, and Fort Myers, Florida. Funding will support community development and revitalization efforts to help underserved business owners as they work to build capital and wealth. The average loan amount is expected to be around $250,000.

Mercer County Small Business Investment Program

Mercer County, New Jersey, just unveiled its new Small Business Investment Program to help small businesses raise funding. Online marketplace SMBX will facilitate the program, hosting a competitive bid process to connect small businesses with retail investors throughout the community. The county is dedicating $500,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to the program, some of which will be used for management expenses, and the rest will go toward retail investments in small businesses. To qualify, businesses must have a physical location in Mercer County, be registered with the state as of April 10, 2023, have 30 full-time equivalent employees or fewer, and have less than $10 million in gross revenue. The program is expected to run through September 2024.

Cambridge Equity Fund Grants

Cambridge Savings Bank in Massachusetts recently approved a $100,000 grant to support the Cambridge Equity Fund. The Cambridge Equity Fund will use the funds to offer essential resources to local minority-owned businesses. Specifically, $80,000 of the grant will go toward providing technical assistance grants of between $5,000 to $10,000 to eligible businesses. The rest will go toward administrative and marketing costs to support the program. The Sustainable Business Network will facilitate the program and provide follow-up support to grant recipients.

Start Small Campbell Grant Program

The Campbell County Department of Economic Development in Virginia is offering financial support to businesses through its Start Small Campbell Grant Program. The program offers two competitive grants of $5,000 each. To qualify, businesses must be new to Campbell County or have less than three years in business. Applicants must also have a valid Campbell County business license and be in compliance with local tax regulations. The deadline to apply for funds is September 1.

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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.