For the second year, a program from American Express aims to aid hundreds of small businesses across the country, including some in Michigan.
American Express, in partnership with Main Street America, is accepting applications for its Backing Small Businesses grant program. American Express this year will award a total of more than $2.3 million to 350 small businesses.
Eligible business owners can apply for $5,000 grants to cover costs related to marketing expenses, capital improvements, and physical and technological upgrades.
Winners will be announced in June. Priority will be given to candidates who have the potential to improve, revitalize, or expand an existing business in older and historic downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts across the country.
In addition to the $5,000 awards, 25 of the recipients will get additional $25,000 in grants to help fund projects such as business expansion, capital improvements and investments into technology that could further improve those businesses while providing goods or services that address cultural, environmental, and access needs in local communities.
“We are proud to work alongside Main Street America to support small business owners as they navigate current economic challenges.” American Express Vice President of Community Impact Alice Lin Fabiano said in a news release. “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.”
Applications for the Backing Small Businesses program are open through April 7.
American Express and Chicago-based community program Main Street America created a small business grant program in 2021 to support U.S. small business owners as they recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic and looked to grow their businesses. The program has provided $1.65 million in grants to 330 small business owners nationwide.
Backing Small Businesses is part of American Express’ Backing Small initiative, established to provide financial support and other resources to help small businesses. With a commitment of $17 million in funds through 2024, the initiative will offer continued support to economically vulnerable small business owners and entrepreneurs through grant programs, mentoring support, and technical assistance through established community partnerships.
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