Should I apply for another grant?
Yes! Absolutely. The grant application is daunting – it’s time-consuming. It feels incredibly intrusive. It makes us vulnerable. We may be rejected. Very true. But, accessing the capital we need is more accessible this year than it has been in years past, and the process should not deter us.
The reality is, we have been locked out of many so-called small business-friendly grant and loan application processes. Many black business owners lacked access to that all-important banker resource that expedited the PPP process for larger companies. EIDL was credit-based, which created a disadvantage for some black business owners. City programs may have required that taxes be paid. Other programs may have required a lengthy business history. So being deterred and disinterested is understandable. Why go through the trouble just to experience the inevitability of ineligibility?
Enter the We Care 757 Rebuild Project. It was essential to Black BRAND, Urban League of Hampton Roads, and its partners at LISC Hampton Roads and Virginia Community Capital that if it were going to be a part of a grant process promoting black business opportunities, that some of the parameters be relaxed to allow for increased participation by communities that need the money most. That’s why we walked through every aspect of the process, from the branding to the selection committee, to ensure there would be as few discriminatory practices as possible. Speaking of the selection committee – there is some chance that one or more of the individuals reviewing the eligible applications actually already know about your business. That’s great news!
Here are three reasons to keep applying for grants:
- The small business community is the cornerstone of the American economy. Organizations are doing all they can to funnel dollars to these all-important businesses. What’s the bottom line? We all need you to stay afloat. So, as you consider whether to close your business, get a job, or try to keep your doors open, research additional grant opportunities! Contact Black BRAND if you need a list.
- What could a new software or a piece of equipment do for your business? If you haven’t done so already, book an appointment with your business consultant or reach out to the Small Business Development Center and talk strategy. Individuals are happy to brainstorm ways your business can pivot. You’d be surprised at what you come up with. You should use the qualitative section of any grant application to explain how you will use the winnings to strengthen your business, develop a new product or service, or digitize your current offering.
- Let’s face it: many of the organizations offering grants are already in the business of offering other resources as well. Now is the time to not keep doing this alone. Getting plugged into some new networks will likely expose you and your business to additional opportunities. So set some new appointments, create dialogue with decision-makers, and remain open to new information.
We are all in this together – both the pandemic and the ongoing grant application process. Black Brand is here to assist! We are a nonprofit dedicated to offering business solutions to our membership base and nonmembers alike. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need one on one assistance with a grant application.
The portal for the We Care 757 Rebuild Project grant process is now open! Use this link to apply: http://bit.ly/wecare757.