Small Business Grants Aim to Boost Employment, Wages

Many small businesses are struggling to find and retain employees. But certain grant programs aim to help employers fill these gaps. Some try to fill important community needs like child care. Others provide direct funds to be used for wages. Read about these and other small business grant opportunities from the previous week below.

Johnson County Community Block Grant

Johnson County, Kansas is allocating approximately $5 million to a new small business grant program. This should provide funding for about 225 small businesses. To qualify, applicants must employ fewer than 50 people, demonstrate a revenue loss of at least 25 percent between 2019 and 2021, and provide proof of establishment in Johnson County before March 1, 2019. In addition, the county is working to establish a Childcare Business Program with the Johnson County Enterprise Center.

Scranton Wage-Boost Grant Program

Scranton, Pennsylvania is using some of its allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds for a new wage-boosting grant program. The idea is to help small businesses increase employee wages to combat inflation and help them retain team members in a competitive market. The program includes nearly $3 million in funds, with individual grants providing up to $50,000 over the course of two years to supplement employee wages. Specifically, the program may cover up to $2 per hour per employee for the first year and then splitting the cost with the business during the second year. The deadline for the first funding round is November 14.

small business grants to boost employment

Orange County Small Business and Gig Worker Grant Program

Orange County, Florida plans to offer a new round of pandemic recovery grants for small businesses. The Orange County Commission approved the small business and gig worker grant program, which will be funded through the county’s allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds. This is a follow-up to the county’s previous CARES Act grant program, which provided funds to more than 8,000 businesses.

Cayuga County COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Assistance Grant Program

Cayuga County, New York is appropriating about $500,000 of its American Rescue Plan Act funds for a new pandemic recovery grant program. Individual grants can be for up to $10,000, though the county will likely award less than that to many businesses to assist as many applicants as possible. Overall, the program includes $500,000 in funding. The program opens November 1 and applications are due December 15.

Tehama County Stabilization Grants

The Tehama County Chamber of Commerce in California is offering a new $2 million stabilization grant. Small businesses and nonprofits throughout the county that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic can apply. Specific requirements vary for small businesses and nonprofits. But all organizations must have 20 employees or less and be able to demonstrate a need for the funds. November 15 is the deadline to apply.

Enfield ARPA Small Business Grant Program

Enfield, Connecticut is dedicating $250,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to small business grants. Business applicants can apply for up to $50,000 in one-time funds. To qualify, businesses must have 500 or fewer employees, be independently owned and operated, and be current on all taxes and rent or mortgage payments. Applications for the program are due November 18.

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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.