The San Antonio Area Foundation (SAAF), in partnership with Corporate Partners for Racial Equity, has created a $1.75 million fund to support black-owned micro and small businesses in Bexar County over a three-year period launching the Spring of 2022. The first program year will award a total of $500,000.
Years of national data show a clear pattern of inequity in access to credit and capital for black-owned businesses, thereby limiting the establishment, expansion and growth. This fund, administered by LiftFund, offers businesses* access to capital as well as a menu of comprehensive services that include grant funding, business advising, networking, and marketing opportunities.
*must meet eligibility requirements
The program will provide financial support in the form of grants up to $35,000 to eligible micro and small for-profit businesses.
In addition to funding, the grant awards include: Financial & Business planning consultations with LiftFund, including a pre- and post-funding assessment; Values Based Leadership program; access to specific workshops based on the business and financial client needs; and connection with a personal mentor.
The grant funds will be distributed in three allocations over a six-month period contingent on completion of the following:
Additionally, two (2) follow up consultations are required after the grant is fully funded.
Grant funding timeline will be established with an award agreement that includes the following program requirements:
Grantee completion of Values Based Leadership & Capacity Building workshops + 2 individual consultations – 1/3 of grant funding
Grantee completion of Digital Marketing & Accounting workshops + 2 individual consultations – 1/3 of grant funding
Grantee completion of Legal & Insurance workshops + 2 individual consultations – 1/3 of grant funding
Business Support Benefit
As a value-added benefit of this program the LiftFund Women’s Business Center will provide financial and business support guidance and coaching to award recipients to leverage the funding received.
To be eligible for this program, businesses must meet the following criteria:
Businesses not eligible for consideration include nonprofits, gambling/gaming, sexually oriented, payday and auto loan providers. You can view the list of prohibited NAICS codes here.
Additional documents may be requested for verification purposes.
Grant applications will be assessed and scored based on the responses provided. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated after the application has closed. The applications with the highest scores will be submitted for approval. The following four areas will be scored on a scale of 1 to 5 with a maximum score of 20:
The following limitations apply:
The Grow Now! Financial Equity Fund will accept applications online beginning Monday, April 18, 2022 at 9:00 AM CST and through Friday, April 29, 2022 at 5:00 PM CST.
Applicants will have the ability to create a profile and save their progress during the application period. To be considered for funding, applications must be completed and submitted along with all the documentation required for verification before 4:59:59 PM CST on Friday, April 29, 2022.
The grant amount will be 25% of the business’ gross verifiable income up to $35,000.
You only need to submit the Schedule C.
You will receive a submission confirmation email from email@example.com. The grants team will contact you by phone or email if additional documentation or clarification is needed.
You may still submit the home utility bill. As long as the address on the utility bill matches the other documentation provided, that can serve as verification of business location.
Yes, we will calculate the number of full time equivalent (FTE) employees, including 1099 workers. You may be asked for a payroll/wage report for employees.
You will be asked to submit a current business utility bill or lease.
Applications will be accepted online April 18th– April 29th.
Yes, and this can include yourself.
It is based on gross revenue.
You will receive a confirmation email from firstname.lastname@example.org. Please check spam and trash in case it was blocked.
No, you may only submit one application for one business.
No, your business must be physically located in the county.
You can submit a copy of your business lease agreement.
Applicants will be notified by May 20th, 2022.
Yes, applicants who are not selected for funding will be notified by USPS mail or email by mid May.
LiftFund is nonprofit community development financial institution with a 27-year track record of elevating underestimated and underserved communities across its 15-state footprint. Since 1994, LiftFund has provided over $415 million in opportunity funding and business education to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Hosted by LiftFund and in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the San Antonio Women’s Business Center is dedicated to empowering women and minorities with education, tools and resources to launch, grow and scale their businesses. Learn more at womensbusinesscentersa.com.