In the News: From ARPA to Comcast and Progressive There are Up To $25K in Grants Available


One of the many benefits of grants is they often come with additional resources and support beyond just funding, including mentorship programs, business consultation services, networking opportunities, and access to specialized training or educational resources. These resources can help small businesses grow, develop new strategies, and enhance their overall competitiveness in the market.

Applying for small business grants can open doors to valuable connections and partnerships within the business community. Many grant programs are associated with reputable organizations or corporations with extensive networks and influence. By securing a grant, your small business not only gains financial assistance but it becomes part of a larger network, enabling you to establish valuable relationships, explore collaboration opportunities, and gain exposure within your industry.

Additionally, being awarded a grant can enhance the credibility of your business and reputation, making it more attractive to potential customers, investors, and partners. That is why as a small business you should proactively seek out and apply for grants to tap into these benefits and leverage them for sustainable growth and success.

Take a look at the ongoing support for small businesses in 2023 through new grant opportunities from Comcast, Progressive, and other corporations. Public programs are also stepping up to help businesses thrive beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, including ARPA grants.

Comcast unveils 100 grant packages for Baltimore City small businesses, featuring business consultation, educational materials, a $5,000 grant, creative production, media scheduling, and technology makeover, empowering local entrepreneurs for success.

Small Business News May 19, 2023

In the roundup this week, a full Committee on Small Business hearing, lawmakers voiced serious concerns over the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) recent alterations to its 7(a) Loan Program. There is also the ever-growing impact of AI on almost every aspect of business operations, and much more.

8th Consecutive Month of YoY Online Price Decreases, Adobe DPI Reveals

In what marks the eighth consecutive month of Year-over-Year (YoY) price decreases, the Adobe Digital Price Index (DPI) reports that online prices fell by 1.8% in April 2023 compared to the same month last year. These findings present a golden opportunity for small businesses, as lower prices can foster increased consumer activity and purchases, thereby boosting sales and revenue.

Mastering the Art of Sales Funnels

In this latest episode of Small Biz in :15, Brian Hawkins, the marketing manager at Ghost Bed, provides illuminating insights on the concept and efficient utilization of sales funnels. Ghost Bed is renowned for its adept use of sales funnels in driving its marketing campaigns and business success.

Serious Concerns Raised Over SBA 7(a) Lending Program Changes

During a recent full Committee on Small Business hearing, lawmakers voiced serious concerns over the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) recent alterations to its 7(a) Loan Program. The hearing, titled “Taking on More Risk: Examining the SBA’s Changes to the 7(a) Lending Program Part I”, was led by Chairman Roger Williams (R-TX).

Builder Confidence Reaches Important Milestone

Here’s a simple formula: Limited housing inventory equals increased interest in new home construction According to the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index for May, builders are confident that buyers will be knocking on their (new) doors. Builder confidence rose 5 points to 50.

Business Borrowers Turning to Non Bank Lenders

Business borrowers are turning to non-bank lenders, according to the Biz2Credit Lending Index released in April.

Etsy’s Announces Big Splash in Wedding Registry

In a bold move aimed at changing the dynamics of the wedding gift industry, Etsy has launched Etsy Registry – a new wedding registry platform that empowers couples to request and receive truly meaningful, personalized gifts. The development speaks to an 872% increase in searches for handmade gifts on Etsy, indicative of a significant shift away from mass-produced items.

Google’s PaLM 2: Next-Gen AI Language Model

Small businesses seeking AI-driven services have a new promising tool to look forward to. Google recently introduced PaLM 2, its next-generation language model boasting improved multilingual, reasoning, and coding capabilities. This novel AI model is poised to bring transformational changes to various sectors including healthcare, human creativity, and importantly, small businesses.

Microsoft’s Copilot AI Goes Into Early Release

Microsoft Corp. has unveiled its Microsoft 365 Copilot Early Access Program, offering a suite of AI-powered tools designed to supercharge productivity within small businesses. This announcement, coupled with the latest data insights from its 2023 Work Trend Index report, suggests that AI could be the antidote to the accelerated pace of work that has outstripped human capacity.

Wendy’s to Launch AI-Powered Drive-Thru Service

In a move that has the potential to revolutionize the fast-food industry, Wendy’s and Google Cloud have announced an expanded partnership to pilot a cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) solution, Wendy’s FreshAI.

USPS Ground Advantage: Simplified Business Shipping

U.S. Postal Service is ready to launch a new service that may be beneficial to small businesses that do a lot of shipping, USPS Ground Advantage. The USPS has proposed pricing for Ground Advantage, which aims to provide a straightforward, reliable, and cost-effective solution for shipping packages weighing up to 70 lbs.

Google Photos Magic Editor Set for Limited Release Later in 2023

Unveiled at the Google I/O event, Magic Editor promises to transform the way small business owners edit and utilize their images, simplifying complex edits and enhancing the overall visual appeal of their digital assets.

Boost Revenue with Facebook’s Reels Ads Revolution

In a move set to impact small businesses, Facebook announced on May 9, 2023, that it is updating and expanding its testing of Ads on Reels. The updated testing will allow more creators to earn money by creating and sharing engaging public reels.

How to Never Hire a Bad Salesperson Again

Some of the most critical people to hire in any organization are the salespeople. Unfortunately, one of the biggest places where small business owners consistently hire the wrong people is in the sales department. How do you find the best salesperson that gets results before you hire them? On the Small Business Radio Show this week, Dr.

Small Business Optimism Dips Amid Labor Quality and Inflation Concerns

Small businesses are facing heightened challenges due to labor quality and inflation, according to the NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index. The index fell 1.1 points to 89.0 in April, marking the 16th consecutive month it’s been below its 49-year average of 98. Labor quality was cited as the top business problem by 24% of respondents, with inflation coming in a close second at 23%.

DOJ Sets Its Sights on Nine Florida Tax Preparers

In a move that highlights the potential hazards of tax preparation services, the US Justice Department has filed a lawsuit seeking to bar nine Florida tax return preparers and their associated businesses from participating in the preparation of federal income tax returns for others.

Small Businesses Brace for Economic Challenges, AI Adoption Increasing: Homebase Survey

A recent survey conducted by Homebase, the all-in-one team management app supporting over 100,000 local small businesses, has revealed that small business owners are not only concerned about economic turbulence but also actively planning to combat it.

Apple Unveils Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad

Apple has announced the launch of Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad, a revolutionary step forward that will provide video and music creators with the ultimate mobile studio experience. The new apps have been designed with powerful, touch-friendly interfaces, enabling creators to work efficiently and creatively in a mobile environment.

SBA Announces 2nd Annual America’s Seed Fund Week to Boost Tech Startups and Early-Stage R&D

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is set to host the 2nd annual America’s Seed Fund Week, a significant event that seeks to connect entrepreneurs with the country’s most extensive source of early-stage funding for Research & Development (R&D). The announcement came from Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, who serves as the voice for America’s 32.

LexisNexis: Small Business Lending Fraud On the Rise

LexisNexis® Risk Solutions has published its latest Small and Midsize Business (SMB) Lending Fraud Study, revealing a significant uptick in SMB lending fraud over the past year. According to the survey, lenders, including smaller banks, credit unions, and fintechs, are bracing for a further escalation in fraud levels in the coming year.

Bard Expands Reach: New Languages, More Visual Interaction, and Integrated Services

Today, Bard, the innovative platform that allows users to collaborate with generative AI, announces new updates that will make the platform more accessible, more interactive, and more integrated. This comes less than two months after Bard’s initial launch and is a direct response to user feedback.

BMO Pledges $5 Million to Boost Affordable Homeownership and Small Business Growth

Bank of Montreal (BMO) has announced a substantial commitment of $5 million to bolster affordable homeownership and foster the growth of small businesses. The funds are part of the bank’s more than $40 billion community benefits plan, BMO EMpower 2.0, aimed at enhancing the lives of local communities.

InnerAction Media Launches StoryMaker, Empowering Small Businesses with AI-Driven Marketing

West Virginia-based InnerAction Media (IAM) recently launched StoryMaker, an Software as a Service (SaaS) application that leverages Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to assist small businesses in the US in creating their ultimate 30-second pitch and other crucial marketing messages on demand. The cloud-based application is founded on IAM’s proprietary “BrandStory” process.

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Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.