Lowe’s Small Business Grant Program was created in response to the need to support local small businesses being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lowe’s has announced it will increase its minority small business grant from $25 million to $30 million while donating an additional $25 million to its small business grant program with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The additional funds will focus on rural communities having been hit hard by the pandemic.
The total $55 million commitment makes Lowe’s the largest donor to LISC’s Small Business Relief and Recovery Program and COVID-19 Rapid Relief and Resiliency Fund.
According to a survey by Main Street America, 7.5 million small businesses nationwide may be at risk of closing permanently. Small businesses in rural communities often face more challenges due to limited access to bank credit, capital and other support services. For the purpose of these grants, rural communities will be defined based on the USDA Rural Development standard of a population of 50,000 or less. Under these standards businesses in Buena Vista, Poncha Springs, and Salida are eligible.
These grants will provide immediate relief for critical needs such as rent, payroll, and operational expenses while also connecting both applicants and grantees to a network of local small business development, support, advocacy, and capital access organizations. Grant recipients will also receive one year of technical assistance post-grant to help further ensure their survival long-term.
“Having grown up in a small town, I have first-hand knowledge of the extraordinary challenges small business owners in rural communities across the country face during the pandemic,” said Lowe’s President and CEO Marvin R. Ellison. “We also remain committed to supporting minority small businesses that are being disproportionately impacted. Today’s announcement that we are increasing our minority grant commitment to $30 million while making an additional $25 million grant donation to rural communities reflects our commitment to double down on our small business grant program and is another step in putting actions behind our words to support all the communities we serve.”
Ellison continued “We cannot solve this need alone, and I encourage other companies to step up and make a difference in supporting small businesses, which are the cornerstone of our economy. Together, we can make a meaningful difference, especially for those in historically disinvested communities and areas hit hardest by COVID-19.”
To apply for the grant, click here.