When Covid-19 began to shut down local communities in early 2020, small businesses were hit hard. With limited or no time to prepare in the face of such circumstances, many entrepreneurs could only adapt, innovate, and continue to serve their customers to the best of their ability. Now, those that have weathered the storm still face many challenges in recouping and recovery. To ease this process, federal, state, and municipal groups are offering small business grants.


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Hard Hit Businesses Hope For Help

Some of the biggest local headlines related to these grants are coming out of Kane County, Illinois, where a $250 million Back to Business grant program was launched as the first of a series of economic recovery programs intended to recover and offset losses due to the pandemic. In Chester County, Pennsylvania, a portion of $5.9 million in grants has been given to small business owners in the local hospitality and restaurant industries. These sectors have been some of the hardest hit over the last year and a half.

Closure sign related to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, Chicago, Illinois. Credit: Paul R. Burley

In Santa Clara County, California, individual small businesses will be eligible for up to $5,000 as part of the initial phase of a small business grant program that aims to incentivize Covid risk reduction practices among employees and customers. The Santa Clara program is notable for its funding sources, which come directly from fines collected from businesses that violated public health orders.

Can Old Issues Be Solved As New Needs Arise?

All across the United States, other grant programs are being announced and funding is being awarded to the most affected small businesses. At the federal level, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is working to improve its widely criticized PPP and Shuttered Venus Operator Grant programs. The agency’s new administrator, Isabella Casillas Guzman, has said that SBA staff are now working to improve the reach and efficiency of relief funding for small businesses, especially as new challenges are posed by a rise in Delta variant cases and many longstanding management issues need to be ironed out.

Have you sought or taken advantage of any small business recovery grants recently offered in your area? Do you think such measures will have a significant impact on local economies? Share your thoughts in the comments.

ABOUT U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) helps Americans start, build, and grow businesses.

SBA was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, preserve free competitive enterprise and maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.

SBA provides an array of financing for small businesses from the smallest needs in microlending to substantial debt and equity investment capital.  SBA provides free counseling and low-cost training to new entrepreneurs and established small businesses in over 1,800 locations.

SBA sets goals with other federal departments and agencies to award 23 percent in prime contract dollars to small businesses.  SBA reviews Congressional legislation, testifies on behalf of small businesses, and assesses the impact of regulatory burden on small businesses.

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