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Coronavirus: 8 small business grants that can help you stay afloat

As federal and state assistance programs face delays, consider these grants from private companies and organizations

Summary

Federal and state assistance for small businesses could face delays during the coronavirus crisis. Here are grants that are available to small business owners from organizations outside of the U.S. government – or that will soon become available.

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The next few weeks are going to put small business owners to the test.

The federal government has officially started taking applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which include a $10,000 advance that does not have to be paid back if used properly, and the Paycheck Protection Plan, which provides a forgivable loan to cover payroll (or payments solopreneurs make to themselves) for the next eight weeks.

However, it remains to be seen how quickly the money will arrive in business owners’ bank accounts.

Meanwhile, although unemployment is available to small business owners and the self-employed, many states are not set up to handle these workers’ claims, and delays are expected.

Here are grants that are available to small business owners from organizations outside of the U.S. government – or that will soon become available.

A Common Thread

The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue are repurposing a fund started in response to 9/11 to help designers and those in the fashion community impacted by the pandemic. Applications will be available on the CFDA website starting April 8.

Facebook Grants Program

Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to support up to 30,000 small businesses in more than 30 countries. To be eligible, you must be located in or near a location where Facebook operates.

Freelancers Relief Fund

The Freelancers Union organized this fund, which provides an emergency grant of up to $1,000 per freelance household for necessities like rent and groceries, and cash assistance to cover income loss. Freelancers must provide proof of income loss, such as canceled contracts.

Google

Google has announced a $200 million investment fund to support nonprofit organizations and small businesses around the world that need access to capital. It has also made available $340 million in Google Ads credits to all SMBs with active accounts within the last year.

Hello Alice

Hello Alice, a free platform that helps small businesses launch and grow, is offering $10,000 emergency grants to small businesses, with the aim to deliver them in three weeks.

James Beard Foundation

This foundation is gathering corporate and foundation donations to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses in need.

Small Business Relief Initiative

GoFundMe, Yelp and QuickBooks have each donated $500,000 to the Small Business Relief Fund. The program will provide matching grants to small businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe.

Wellness Relief Fund

Reclamation Ventures is offering grants of $2,500 for wellness space and wellness instructors who are in communities often “left out of the conversation on wellness” – including people of color, LGBTQ+ business owners and those impacted by the criminal justice system.

See related: What to do if you can’t pay your business credit card bill

Final thoughts

Some small business owners are tapping their personal resources to keep their businesses afloat, but even if you are able to do that for the moment, it’s not a bad idea to apply for grant programs, as well.

No one knows how long the COVID-19 crisis will impact the economy, and no business can have too much in the way of cash reserves. Set an alert in your search engine for programs that are in the early stages, so you can apply ASAP, as grants tend to get oversubscribed quickly.

If you receive grant money you do not end up needing, please return it to the organization that provided it, so they can redistribute it to a fellow small business owner in need.

And if you’re in an industry that has been seeing a surge in business due to the crisis, please donate generously and help other owners who are trying to make it through the crisis.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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