While the COVID-19 pandemic hit most businesses hard in the U.S., most affected were Black small businesses, and disproportionately. Not only are Black businesses concentrated in hard-hit service industries, but they have financial challenges. Guidant Financial’s Small Business Trends survey found that about 24 percent of surveyed Black-owned small businesses lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Still, that doesn’t mean there isn’t help available for those businesses affected by COVID-19.
COVID-19 Relief Small Business Grants
A number of cities is offering COVID-19 relief money for small businesses. Here are some:
- Niagara County, New York, COVID Relief for Small Business Grant Program: The upstate New York county is offering grants totaling up to $50,000 for small businesses. Applicants must have businesses in Niagara County, show proof of how COVID-19 hurt their businesses, and meet other criteria. The grant funds can’t be used to buy real estate, pay off debt or start renovations. Entrepreneurs can download an application here.
- PECO Small Commercial and Industrial Gas Grant For Philadelphia Small Business Owners: Philadelphia’s largest electric company is offering one-time $500 grants to the PECO utility accounts of small businesses. Eligible applicants must have had a PECO account before March 2020, have fewer than 25 employees, and prove financial hardship caused by COVID-19. Small business owners can download the grant applications here.
- Arlington, Massachusetts American Rescue Plan Grants: Arlington, Massachusetts, is offering small business owners and nonprofit leaders grants as part of the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11. Entrepreneurs can use the grant funds for rent, utility bills and other COVID-19 related expenses. The grants can’t be used for unpaid taxes, furnishings and other expenses not related to the pandemic. Small business owners can apply until Jan. 7, on the grant’s website.
Global NY Fund Grant Program
The Empire State is offering grants of up to $25,000 to small business owners who are in the export business. There are also available grants of $100,000 to nonprofit organization leaders who give export assistance to New York State businesses. It’s recommended that entrepreneurs talk to an Empire State Development Global NY Representative for help before applying for the grant. Entrepreneurs must be located in New York State and meet other requirements. Business owners can use the funds for export workshops and trade show participation.
Business owners can download applications for the grants here. Applicants must email one electronic copy of the application to [email protected] and mail in a paper application.
North Carolina Child Care Stabilization Grant for Child Care Providers
North Carolina is offering grants to child care providers as part of its American Rescue Plan $805 million investment in the state child care facilities. To apply, childcare providers must have a license and submit certain documents. The grants can be used to pay rent, buy protective equipment and hire additional staff. Childcare facility owners can apply on a rolling basis for the grants here.