AMEX - Backing Small Business Grant

Deadline to Apply: April 7, 2023 
National ACE is excited to partner with American Express and Main Street America to support the Backing Small Businesses grant program.

To support economic vitality and foster thriving business communities, 350 $5,000 grants will be awarded to economically vulnerable small business owners, including members of the AANHPI community.

We’re not stopping at $5,000 though – 25 of the 350 grantees will also be awarded $25,000 Enhancement Grants, allowing business owners the opportunity to further improve their businesses.

These winners will be announced in October 2023.
In 2021, American Express and Main Street America created the Backing Small Businesses* grant program to help under-resourced and economically vulnerable small business owners recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and grow their businesses. In its first year, the program provided $1.65 million in grants to more than 330 small business owners nationwide. National ACE was a partner to the program and is again for 2023.

Now in its second year, the program will increase both grants awarded and total funding to more than $2.3 million to further support under-resourced and economically vulnerable small business owners in building their economic vitality and fostering a thriving community. Applications are now open for 350 small business grants of $5,000 to eligible businesses in the U.S. and territories.

If you are awarded a $5,000 grant through this program, your business may also be eligible to be considered for an additional $25,000 Enhancement Grant! A limited subset of 25 grantees will receive this additional Enhancement Grant, which will allow those business owners the opportunity to further improve their businesses. All grant recipients will be required to submit a final grant report using the template provided. The report will include questions regarding the completed project plus additional questions about how the business could use an additional $25,000 Enhancement Grant to fund a project that would further improve the business, while providing goods or services that address cultural, environmental, and/or access needs in your community, if selected. Enhancement Grant project proposals can be related to the $5,000 grant proposal, or they may constitute a separate project.
Enhancement Grant Project Examples Include:
  • Community educational event to celebrate a historical or 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