Several local government agencies are offering grants and programs to help small business in 2023, but deadlines to apply for many of these funds are coming up soon.
The City of Flagstaff has allocated $300,000 of its American Rescue Plan Act package to help small businesses offset the fiscal challenges due to the pandemic, including staffing shortages, decreased revenues, and modification that were required due to Covid-19.
The awards, ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, can be used for a wide array of purposes, including marketing to overcome losses in revenue due to the pandemic, attracting and retaining employees, or purchasing business equipment. The business must be locally owned and operated, within the Flagstaff City limits, and have fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees. Deadline to apply is January 31 and details can be found here.
In Winslow, the city is looking to beautify buildings along Second and Third streets with a Facade Improvement Program. The grant provides up to $1,000 in matching funds for improvements to the face of buildings on these streets between Hipkoe Drive and Transcon Lane.
Applicants are expected to pay all up-front cost and will be reimbursed if the application is approved by a three-member committee, which includes the City Manager, Economic Development Director and the City Inspector. Details and application form here.
Meanwhile, the Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG), which covers Coconino and Yavapai counties, Flagstaff, Winslow and Camp Verde, has extended its Brownfield Assessment Grant program, to assist owners of properties where use or redevelopment might be complicated by the presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
Funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this is not an enforcement program. Unless there is a threat to public health and safety, property owners are not required to clean up their properties. Instead, the free assessments are intended to provide owners with information that can help them find financing, buyers, and/or partners that could assist with future development.
Originally slated to end last year, the program has been extended to September 2023. Funds are awarded on a first come, first served basis. For more information, click here or attend the free luncheon and presentation on this program on January 31 from 11:30 am to 1 pm at Flagstaff City Hall. RSVP by January 26 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One financial boon to small businesses that is not being offered by a government entity is the third annual Barclays Small Business Big Wins contest. The bank is inviting small business owners to submit an essay of up to 500 words (and a compelling photograph) that shares their small business journey and the challenges they have faced along with way.
Winners of the contest will divvy up a prize pool of $255,000, ranging from a Grand Prize of $60,000 to 50 sweepstake prizes of $2,000 each. Deadline to apply is February 28 and the winners will be announced on May 2 to coincide with National Small Business Week. For more information – and to view profiles of previous winners – visit the contest website, BarclaysSmallBizBigWins.com.
We wish good luck to everyone who applies for these opportunities!