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City of South Bend Opens Applications for Small Business Grants

Published Thursday, July 30, 2020

The City of South Bend has opened applications for its Small Business Resiliency Grants, which may provide $5,000 in assistance for qualifying small businesses that have suffered hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant program will be administered in partnership with Accion Serving Illinois & Indiana, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). To find out more and apply, visit www.southbendin.gov/bizgrant.

“We’re proud to continue the partnership with Accion and local organizations to support South Bend’s small businesses during this difficult time. While the city’s CDFI partners continue to offer low-interest loans, additional loan capital is not the right choice for every business to navigate through the current recession,” said Mayor James Mueller. “We hope that these small-dollar awards can be leveraged with programs like Career Pathways or Neighborhood Business Labs to help our local businesses build the resilience needed to persevere to the brighter days ahead.”

Businesses will be asked to demonstrate a negative impact to their business as a result of the pandemic, and the grant program is open for businesses with 50 employees or less. The program will make available 60 grants from a total of $300,000 in money received through the federal CARES Act and include additional technical assistance through the City’s Department of Community Investment and Office of Diversity & Inclusion.

The goal in combining these two types of assistance is to increase the potential impact of a small financial disbursement by pairing business owners with experts and coaches to help them plan for sustainability in an economic downturn.

The grant program will be administered in partnership with Accion Serving Illinois & Indiana, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) which partnered with the City earlier this year to administer an emergency business loan program.

“This grant program is part of the City’s efforts to connect with businesses faced with challenges in receiving their fair share of federal assistance dollars through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP),” said Diversity Compliance and Inclusion Officer Michael Patton. “Recently established minority businesses have seen unequal access to important financial aid programs due to program selection criteria. We hope this program can help stabilize new businesses that are integral to our efforts toward economic justice. While we’ve had success connecting local businesses with affordable, straightforward loans with our CDFI partners, we’re excited for the opportunity to partner direct financial assistance with our new business support programs.”

The application window will be open from now until Friday, August 7 at 6 p.m.