Amex, Main Street America Announce $2.3 Million in Grants
Backing Small Businesses

Amex, Main Street America Announce $2.3 Million in Grants

As small business owners across the country continue to face a number of economic and other challenges American Express and Main Street America are teaming up to offer some relief. This week, the latest edition of “Backing Small Businesses” grant program was announced, with more than $2.3 million available to small business recipients.

Eligible business owners can now apply for a chance to received a $5,000 grant. These funds can be used for marketing expenses, capital improvements, or upgrades to physical space or technologies.

American Express and Main Street America (alongside community partners) will choose 350 recipients, which will be announced in June 2023. Specifically, they note that candidates with the potential to improve or revitalize businesses in historic neighborhoods and similar older commercial districts will be prioritized. In addition to the $5,000 grants, this fall, 25 of the selected grantees will receive additional grants of $25,000.

To apply, business owners can visit the Backing Small Businesses site. In order to qualify, business owners must be at least 18 years old and the business must be at least 51% owned by owners who identify as members of various groups and communities (listed on the site). Additionally, businesses must have a brick-and-mortar location, employ fewer than 20 full-time employees, and have been in operation since at least January 1st, 2022.

This is the second edition of the Backing Small Businesses, which Amex and Main Street America created in 2021 as a means of supporting small business owners through the pandemic. That initial program saw 330 small business owners receiving a total of $1.65 million in grants. Among those recipients was The Funky Frog Children’s Resale Boutique owner Renee Perkins, who said in a statement, “I am very appreciative to have been awarded the Backing Small Businesses grant to help increase online sales for my business. With the grant I was able to hire a local, woman-owned advertising agency to handle all of my e-commerce advertising and ultimately increased the orders from only three states to 26 in just six months.”

Announcing the launch, American Express’s VP of Community Impact Alice Lin Fabiano said, “We are proud to work alongside Main Street America to support small business owners as they navigate current economic challenges Small business owners are at the heart of local communities, and since the launch of our grant program in 2021, it has been inspiring to see the positive impact they have made in communities across the country.”

Although grant programs for small businesses grew in popularity during the pandemic, it’s great to see that they are not only continuing but, in the case of Backing Small Businesses, are growing even larger. Hopefully this is a trend that American Express and Main Street America will keep up in future iterations of the program as well. In the meantime, eligible small businesses should be sure to apply for this year’s program before the April 7th deadline.

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