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Across the United States, small businesses that form the economic backbone of our communities now face immediate — and oftentimes, crushing — financial pressure because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many small businesses that were forced to shut down temporarily now are at serious risk of never reopening. Even those small businesses that can operate remotely or with limited on-site hours face major revenue shortfalls. With little or no reserves to pay their expenses, many will have no choice but to lay off workers and close their doors forever.

Thanks to a $55 million significant commitment grant from Lowe’s, the Local Initiatives Support Corp. will provide the emergency grant assistance that small businesses desperately need to stay afloat.

Small businesses owned or led by minorities and women, who often lack access to affordable capital, will have access to $30 million, while $25 million will support enterprises in rural communities, which typically face even more hurdles than their urban counterparts due to limited access to bank credit, capital and other support services.

We will deploy grants to help them bridge the financial gap, and provide guidance to help them navigate the intricate web of public and private resources now available. LISC will focus these efforts on historically underserved communities — especially those enterprises owned or led by minorities and women, who often lack access to affordable capital. In addition to deploying grants to help small businesses bridge the financial gap, LISC will provide guidance to help them navigate the intricate web of public and private resources now available.

This $55 million commitment makes Lowe’s the largest donor to LISC’s Covid Rapid Relief & Resiliency Fund.

What are we offering?

Grants of $20,000 to small business owners to help meet their most immediate needs. Eligible expenses include:

  • Paying rent and utilities
  • Meeting payroll
  • Paying outstanding debt to vendors
  • Upgrading technology infrastructure
  • Other immediate operational costs

Grant application information

For more on the LISC-Lowe’s partnership or to apply for a grant, visit LISC.org/lowes. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 3.

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