Many businesses in busy commercial districts have closed up shop since the start of the pandemic. This has left many communities with fewer options and slowed economic activity. Boston is one city that’s trying to combat this issue with a new grant program. Read about the city’s SPACE grants and other small business funding opportunities below.
Boston SPACE Grants
The city of Boston just launched its new SPACE (Supporting Pandemic Affected Community Enterprises) Grant program. The program’s goal is to revitalize the economy, bring people back to major commercial districts, and help close the racial wealth gap in the city. Up to 50 local entrepreneurs will receive grants to open new storefront businesses in vacant commercial spaces in the city’s major commercial districts. Each grant may provide up to $200,000, which will be spread over a three-year period. The first round of applications are due February 17.
Arkansas Cyber Defense Center Grant
The Forge Institute Arkansas Cyber Defense Center recently received grant funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration Cybersecurity for Small Business Pilot Program. And it is using that funding to offer free Cyber Risk Assessments for Arkansas small businesses. This grant won’t provide cash directly to small businesses, but it does allow ACDC to expand its services. The center plans to conduct 260 assessments for at least 130 companies in its first year. So those companies will not have to pay for this valuable service out of pocket. And it may help them catch potentially serious threats.
RI Rebounds Program Funding
Rhode Island’s RI Rebouts program provided funding to small businesses hit hard by the pandemic. Target industries included hotels, tourism businesses, and arts and culture organizations. The R.I. Commerce board recently approved additional funding for the program. So select businesses that already received grants may get an additional $800. The exact funding amount varied by need and industry. So the state is still working out the details for these additional funds.
New Jersey MVP Program
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is currently accepting pre-qualification applications for its Manufacturing Voucher Program. The New Jersey MVP program includes $20 million in funding to help local manufacturers improve their operations by purchasing new equipment. Interested businesses can apply online during the week-long pre-qualification period, which ends on December 22.
Waupaca County Veterans Service Grants
The Waupaca County Veterans Service Office in Wisconsin is currently offering $5,000 grants to veteran-owned businesses. The program includes $150,000 in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to support local companies owned by current service members, honorably-discharged veterans and their spouses. To qualify for a grant, eligible businesses must first complete an entrepreneurial training program fun by the Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The first round of this training program will begin in February 2023.
Clearwater ARPA Grants and Loans
Clearwater, Florida is offering about $6.5 million in grants and loans to support local small businesses. Funding comes from the city’s allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds. So businesses must have been financially harmed by the pandemic to receive grants. The program will focus on businesses in three categories: education, cultural affairs, and businesses in the North Greenwood community. The deadline to apply online is February 15.
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