When the unexpected happens, even the best-laid plans can experience hiccups and fail. Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) quickly saw a need when the pandemic hit and created the Main St. Matters Grant Program, a small business COVID-19 grant program, which awards emergency grants to businesses looking for a lifeline. Many organizations have also developed similar programs to provide support.
Small business owners are a huge part of our economy, but it is evident now more than ever that they are truly the heartbeat of our communities. Organizations from almost every industry have come together to provide tools, support and funds to ensure their survival.
Collaboration for the win
The light at the end of the tunnel is shining. From mortgage relief programs and local chamber grants, to neighborhood business support and eviction diversion funds, these are available to those in need. There are options available for sole proprietors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. And in times of such widespread need, banding together can make the biggest impact in guiding people to the support they’re looking for. The City of Phoenix and BBB are working together to ensure crucial grants are getting out to the businesses in need.
“So far, Phoenix appears to be the only major U.S. city offering small business grants to microbusinesses, that’s businesses with five or less employees,” stated Gretchen Wolfe, Procurement Manager, City of Phoenix, Community and Economic Development. “We started our programs back in March and reached out to over 16,000 businesses to let them know assistance was available. Over the course of the pandemic, we have had to make some changes and adjust our eligibility criteria and BBB has been instrumental in helping with our vetting process. We are happy to say we’ve been able to provide vital funds to businesses of every nature and receiving their notes of appreciation is the highlight of my week.”
A few words from awardees
Many businesses are faced with new COVID-19 safety regulations, so dealing with these unexpected costs of supplies and implementation can be tough.
“Thank you for selecting me. The grant award will go toward my salon rent and PPE supplies to keep our environment safe,” shares Deja Good from Mon Cheri’s House of Hair.
Dizzie Ramsey, World Class Entertainer and Owner of Just Energy Entertainment could not contain his enthusiasm upon being awarded. As a mother and son team running the operation, they were beyond thrilled for the support.
“On behalf of me and my company, THANK YOU so much!!” Dizzy shared.
Just Energy Entertainment was also a recipient of a BBB Main St. Matters grant award, and is a proud Accredited Business upholding BBB Standards for Trust in their operations.
“Thank you very much! The grant award is very important to me. It helps my business survive this hardship. Again, I appreciate it!”, shared Elise Hguyen from Daily Nails.
These businesses have shown true grit and ingenuity to make it through these times. Their passion for their work, dedication to their cause and commitment to their community are just a few aspects that made their business stand out.
“Connecting small businesses and entrepreneurs to our emergency funding program, Main St. Matters, encouraging them to apply for the City of Phoenix grants, or creating the free CARES Act online course are some of the ways BBB works to offer support,” said Kimberly Roland, Director of Innovation & Entrepreneur Programs, BBB Serving the Pacific Southwest. “We are grateful to be surrounded by such amazing partners at the City of Phoenix who, like us, work every single day to ensure our businesses survive these tough times.”
Apply for funds now
City of Phoenix Grant through the Arizona Community Foundation
If eligible, businesses should hurry to submit applications to BBB’s, small business COVI-19 grant program, Main St. Matters. The grants may close before October 30 if the funds have all been awarded before that date.
Better Business Bureau Grant
Main St. Matters Grant Program is still open and grants will be awarded through December 2020.
Additional grants & support in Arizona:
- Small Business Success Loan
- Maricopa County Small Business Grant Program
- I Choose Chandler Business Hiring & Retention Program
- Phoenix Commercial City Services Bill Relief Grant
- Lake Havasu City Resource Alliance CARES Grant
- Arizona Community Foundation City of Yuma COVID-19 Small Business Grant Relief Program
- Gilbert Together Business Recovery Program
Additional grants & support in Southern California:
- City of Santa Ana Restaurant and Bar Relief Grant Program
- Santa Ana CARES Small Business Grant
- City of Santa Ana COVID-19 Small Business Incentive Program
- Newport Beach Small Business Relief Grant
- San Diego Artist Relief Fund
- Women’s Empowerment Loan Fund
- COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Fund
- Escondido Small Business Grant Program
- Small Business Stimulus Grant – San Diego
- Small Business Administration: Economic Injury Disaster Loan
- Federal Reserve System: Main Street Lending Program
- Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2
- LISC Small Business Relief Grants
We encourage you to keep up your research, as more opportunities continue to be available.