Small Business Grant Program Focused on Minority, Women, and Veteran- Owned Businesses
We are excited to share that the Small Business Grant Program, which was made possible by the Montgomery County ARPA SRLF Recovery Plan initiative, has come to a successful conclusion. All the businesses that participated in this grant program and met the eligibility criteria were granted up to $20,000, offering critical support during these challenging times.
Our commitment was to prioritize smaller businesses and promote applications from disadvantaged groups, ensuring inclusivity and economic empowerment. This initiative has already had an immediate impact, safeguarding jobs and fortifying our local economy.
Through this recovery initiative, we are shaping a more resilient and transformative community.
On May 1st, 2023 - Small Business Grant Program successfully concluded its application process. Through this program, qualifying for-profit businesses in our county had the opportunity to receive cash grants of up to $20,000.
We made sure to prioritize our smaller businesses, with 50 or fewer employees and annual gross revenue under $500,000. While non-profit organizations were not eligible, we strongly encouraged applications from socially and economically disadvantaged groups. We anticipate sending out the final notifications to successful grantees within this month.
Grant Program Overview
- A total of $2,650,000 is available for the Small Business Grant Program Focused on Minority, Women, and Veteran-Owned Businesses. These funds were allocated out of the County's Pandemic Recovery Fund- ARPA SLFRF.
- The intention of the program is to support businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic and related economic impacts, such as required business closures, health and safety improvements, hiring/ retention issues, supply chain issues, and inflation. The grant program is intended to ensure that businesses with less historic access to capital are supported, such as businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged groups, and therefore the Recovery Office has a goal of allocating 60% of available funds to these groups.
- The grant program will provide cash grants to qualifying businesses in Montgomery County which are either (a) located in a qualifying community of Pottstown or Norristown, or (b) can show a financial loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Businesses must have fewer than 50 full and/or part-time employees and under $500,000 in annual gross revenue, and otherwise qualify as a small business under the Small Business Act (which includes, among other requirements, that the business is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field of operation)
- Businesses must have been in operation prior to October 1, 2022, and must have filed at least one tax return since being in operation. New businesses are not eligible.
- Businesses must have a physical location in Montgomery County and be registered with the PA Department of State, by filing either formation documents (i.e. Articles of Incorporation, Partnership Agreement, etc., for Corporations, LLCs, S Corps, etc.,) or a fictitious name document for sole proprietorships.
There are three grant program options available:
- Streamlined Grant Program for Norristown/ Pottstown Businesses
- Impacted Businesses (any location within Montgomery County)
- Restaurant Revitalization Fund Rescinded Applications
Focus on Minority, Women, and Veteran- Owned Businesses
Businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged groups are especially encouraged to apply due to the disproportionate impacts on these businesses, where pre-existing disparities like lack of access to capital compounded the pandemic’s effects.
- Socially and economically disadvantaged groups may include:
- Persons identifying as LGBTQIA+
- Persons with limited English proficiency
- Persons with disabilities
- Business owners that do not fall into one of these categories are not prohibited from applying or receiving funds.
All applications will need to provide:
- Proof of the business entity, ownership, physical location, number of employees, and gross revenue on the most recently filed tax return
- For many businesses, the most recently filed tax return plus payroll documentation will be sufficient documentation for this program
- Impacted Business applicants will also need to provide:
- Prior year tax returns or other documentation showing a financial impact to the business. FY 2019 and FY 2020 tax returns are recommended, but other documents showing a financial loss will be accepted.
Application Process and Deadlines
Applicants will apply online via the County's online submission form. If language assistance or other accommodations are needed, application assistance is available in English, Spanish, Korean, and Mandarin Chinese.
The application portal will open on November 14, 2022. The application portal will remain open through Sunday, April 30, 2023. The Recovery Office will review applications submitted once per month, and award up to $500,000 in funds monthly (see below for schedule).
The Recovery Office will review applications on the fifteenth (15) of each month (or the following business day, if the fifteenth is on a weekend), starting December 15, 2022.
Application review includes:
- Eligibility of applicant and business for the grant program
- Verification of the business against the PA business registry database
- Amount the business would be eligible for, per the program guidelines and the submitted documents
- Alignment with focus on priority businesses, which includes location in a qualifying census tract, ownership by socially or economically disadvantaged owner, length of time in business, size of business
Each month, the Recovery Office will set of goal of allocating 60% of funds specifically to businesses that are owned by a person who qualifies as a socially or economically disadvantaged owner, and otherwise prioritize businesses that are located in qualifying census tracts, were in operation before March 2020, and/or that are very small (under 10 employees). If a business is awarded funds, they will be informed directly via email, including instructions on how payment will be made.
If an application is not awarded funds in the first month it is submitted, the application will automatically be rolled over into the following month’s review and be eligible to receive funds the following month, and so forth until all of the funds have been expended. Applicants should not apply more than once.
Pandemic Recovery Fund Applicants
• The Recovery Office will be outreaching directly to businesses who submitted an application to the Pandemic Recovery Fund that might be eligible for this program to confirm that they would like to be considered for funding. Recovery Office staff will help streamline the application process as much as possible for these applicants.
• If a business submitted an application to the Pandemic Recovery Fund and wants to check on their eligibility, they can email RecoveryOffice@montgomerycountypa.gov.
If language assistance or other accommodations are needed, application support is available in Spanish, Korean, and Mandarin Chinese by contacting:
PA Health Access Network
Call/Text: (610) 750-8200
Online Help Form:www.pahealthaccess.org/montcota