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American Express Backing Small Businesses Grant Now Open


March 20, 2023 | American Express Backing Small Business Grant Now Open | 

Main Street America and American Express are pleased to announce that applications for the Backing Small Businesses Grant are now open now through Friday, April 7! The grant program will award $2.3 million in small business grants to 350 eligible businesses in the U.S. and territories. 

In 2021, American Express and Main Street America created the grant program to help economically vulnerable U.S. small business owners recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and grow their businesses. To date, the program provided $1.65 million in grants to 330 small business owners across the country.

Now in its second year, the program will increase both grants awarded and total funding to further support small business owners in building their economic vitality and fostering a thriving community. Today, applications will open for small business grants of $5,000 to eligible businesses in the U.S. and territories. 

If awarded, businesses may also be eligible to be considered for an additional $25,000 Enhancement Grant! A limited subset of 25 grantees will be considered for the Enhancement Grant, which will allow those business owners the opportunity to further enhance their businesses. 

Enhancement Grant Project Examples Include:
•    Community educational event to celebrate a cultural moment that is meaningful to the neighborhood
•    Partnering with a charity to provide meals in a food security program for community
•    Partnering with local artists for community event or mural
•    Language translation of menus or websites to be more inclusive
•    Innovations to reduce food waste or improve sustainability  

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I apply?
Applications are now open and will close at 11:59pm CT on Friday, April 7. Apply here.

What types of businesses are eligible for these grants?
Grants will be awarded to business owners who identify as Veterans, People with Disabilities, Women, Members of the LGBTQIA+ Community, Asian American and/or Pacific Islander, Black and/or African America, Hispanic and/or Latinx, Middle Eastern and/or North African, Native and/or Indigenous, Immigrants, Refugees, and/or Forcibly Displaced. For more eligibility requirements, visit the program webpage

Have additional questions?
Check out our webpage and review additional grant FAQs. Contact or call 312-610-5613 and leave a voicemail if you have any other questions.