Minority-owned businesses often face additional challenges when launching and seeking funding. So some organizations and government agencies launch grant programs to level the playing field. Recently, Mastercard and New York state announced new initiatives for this very purpose. Read about these small business grant opportunities and more below.
Fearless Strivers Grant Contest
Mastercard is partnering with Fearless Fund, a Black women-owned venture capital fund that supports women of color-owned businesses, on a new grant program. The Fearless Strivers Grant Contest aims to provide $20,000 grants to Black women-owned small businesses, along with digital tools and mentorship opportunities. This is part of a larger initiative by Mastercard to support Black women in business. The grant program is one of the last aspects of the initiative to launch. So the application portal is expected to open soon.
East Buffalo Small Business Working Capital Grant Program
The state of New York is launching a $3 million grant program to support minority-owned businesses in East Buffalo. The East Buffalo Small Business Working Capital Grant Program was launched in response to the mass shooting at a Tops Friendly Market and to combat the barriers to entry and additional challenges that minority-owned businesses often face. The program will distribute grants in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. The application period is open now through February 17.
Kingston ARPA Small Business Grant Program
Kingston, New York recently launched its ARPA Small Business Grant Program, which includes $1 million in total funds. Since the program is funded through the federal American Rescue Plan Act, businesses must meet federal requirements to qualify for grants. Eligible businesses can apply for up to $10,000 to offset extra expenses or losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The city aims to provide grants to about 100 businesses. Applications are due by March 17.
Long Beach Visual Improvement Program
Long Beach, California just announced a new $450,000 support program for small businesses. The program includes multiple initiatives, including a $100,000 Visual Improvement Program, which will provide $1,500 grants to local businesses that have experienced property damage. The grant application period will open on February 22.
Antioch Small Business Programs
Antioch, California is partnering with FORWARD on two new small business grant programs funded by the American Rescue Plan Act. The first is the Small Business Grant Program, which offers grants of between $5,000 to $15,000 for small businesses that were negatively affected by the pandemic. The second is the Facade Upgrade Program, which reimburses small businesses for select facade improvements of between $5,000 and $25,000. Applicants for both programs must be able to prove losses related to COVID-19.
Venture North Small Business Growth Fund
Venture North recently rolled out its Small Business Growth Fund to support businesses in Northern Michigan. The organization offers several programs for local businesses, including access to loans and educational resources. The Small Business Growth Fund aims to provide a revolving fund of $500,000, with support from donors and government grants. Businesses within Venture North’s ten-county service area can fill out an intake form on the organization’s website to get started. And a staff member will reach out within 24 hours.
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Mastercard has recently announced a new partnership with the National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC) to create the NBIC 2020 Grant Program. The program is designed to provide financial assistance and mentorship to minority-owned businesses in the United States.
The NBIC 2020 Grant Program is designed to support minority-owned businesses, particularly those owned by African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian-Pacific Islanders. It is part of Mastercard’s commitment to creating an equitable business landscape and empowering diverse talent and companies.
The grant program will provide up to $50,000 in grant funding, as well as guidance, mentorship, and resources to assist business owners in achieving success. Applications are open to businesses that have been in operation for at least two years and have a gross annual revenue of more than $500,000.
In addition to the grant program, Mastercard is also introducing a series of mentorship programs to help minority entrepreneurs strengthen their skills and gain exposure to potential investors and customers.
“At Mastercard, we are proud to be part of a movement that is empowering diverse entrepreneurs, innovators and business owners by providing them the resources to help them bring their ideas to life,” said Cheryl Guerin, Mastercard Executive Vice President of Global Communications. “We are actively working to promote a more inclusive economy and hope to continue investing in organizations and initiatives that promote greater diversity in entrepreneurship.”
Mastercard’s ultimate goal is to help create a level playing field for all businesses and to ensure minority-owned businesses are given equal access to resources and support. With the launch of the NBIC 2020 Grant Program, the company is taking an important step towards achieving this goal.