Small Business Grant Opportunity Opens January 21, 2021

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Main Street America and 
Brother International are working together to support small businesses and amplify the importance these enterprises play in communities across the country. The collaboration will shine a light on inspiring entrepreneurs and provide critical resources and marketing support to small businesses in need. As part of this initiative, we’ve teamed up to launch the “At Your Side” Small Business Grant Program.

The program will support brick-and-mortar small businesses in designated Main Street districts as they work to adapt to COVID-19 and prepare for the next phases of reopening across the country, while also helping to revitalize and strengthen older and historic commercial corridors. Grants of $5,000 to $10,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis. Applications will open at 12pm EST/ 11am CST on Thursday, January 21 and continue to be accepted through Thursday, January 28 at 7:59pm EST/ 6:59pm CST. See Program Terms and Conditions here.

Grant Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible for participation, applicants must meet the following criteria:
  • The applicant must be located in an Accredited or Affiliate Main Street America community or UrbanMain commercial corridor. This list is available here.
  • The applicant must be a for-profit business. 501c3 and 501c6 entities are not eligible. The applicant must be a business entity in good standing in the state in which it was formed and the state in which it does business. 
  • The applicant must operate a “brick and mortar” storefront located in an older or historic downtown or neighborhood commercial district. 
  • The applicant must employ less than 20 full time employees. 
  • The applicant must be an owner of the business. 
  • The applicant must be at least age 18 years or older.
If you have questions about your eligibility, please email

Eligible Grant Expenses

Eligible grant expenses include but are not limited to:
  • Physical improvements to business space to meet relevant reopening requirements implemented because of COVID-19
  • Equipment to comply with public health and safety guidelines (i.e., touchless payment methods, automatic door open sensors, or disposable menus)
  • Fees associated with expanding the business to e-commerce sales
  • Other professional services, such as business plan modifications
  • Rent, payroll, and other operating expenses

Grant Application Judging Criteria

  • Feasibility of proposal
  • Extent to which grant will help address an acute business need or help a business owner implement innovative solutions to address COVID-19-related challenges
  • Opportunity for other businesses to learn from work
  • Business’ contribution to the local community
  • How the grant will help improve the viability of business 
  • Strength of letters of recommendation and supporting documents

How to Apply

A link to the online grant program application will be published on this page once applications open on Jan. 21 at 12pm EST/ 11am CST. Applications will continue to be accepted through Thursday, January 28 at 7:59pm EST/ 6:59pm CST. You can find a preview of the application here.