For small businesses, the light at the end of the tunnel is beginning to shine. While crucial funding was depleted through other sources, Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) launched the Main St. Matters Grant Program to support businesses who had fallen through the cracks during the COVID19 crisis. BBB awarded nearly $30,000 of potentially business saving capital to award recipients during the first cycle of this program.

Over 700 Main St. businesses and entrepreneurs applied for the emergency grant after exhausting other funding opportunities without success. A thorough review process included verifying immediate need, length of time in business, and history of upholding BBB Standards for Trust, which are just a few factors that set this program apart from others. Vetting businesses proved to be a profound undertaking, as all businesses demonstrated a dire need.

Grants were distributed to businesses throughout the BBB Pacific Southwest service area. The 28 recipients truly embody Main St. businesses, ranging from a coffee shop, a cleaning company and bridal shop to a construction business, bakery and pool service. Awardees stood out for the impact they’ve made on their local community and the story behind their business, many of which are family owned.

Award announcements were received with heartfelt appreciation and tears of joy. The testimonies proved the depth of many who had been placed in desperate situations.

“This is the first help I’ve gotten through all of this and I’ve felt really alone with my business” shared one awardee, who also was afraid she would “just get lost in the crowd”.

Every business matters to BBB.

“BBB has a responsibility to uphold the community it serves, which primarily consists of small businesses. This community sets the standard for the way businesses should operate, with ethics and integrity at the forefront,” shares Kimberly Roland, BBB Director of Innovation and Entrepreneur Programs.

“During these dire times, it is our responsibility and honor to rise to the occasion to do everything to ensure longstanding Main St. businesses remain operational in our community. BBB is proud to respond to the financial and resource gaps that many Main St. businesses are facing during the crisis. Our hope is that through this emergency funding, businesses are able to sustain.”

Every Donation Helps. Small businesses are the heart of the marketplace, and BBB is requesting community support to lift those in need. BBB proudly seed funded the Main St. Matter Grant Program and is continuing with the generous support of our donors. Even amidst uncertainty, when BBB Pacific Southwest employees underwent salary adjustments to ensure no layoffs, over 30% have donated personally to the fund. With applications exceeding the amount of funding currently available, every contribution, big or small, supports the mission.

Three Months Remain to Apply. Awards will continue throughout the four-month program in the form of $500 and $1,000 grants. Small businesses that operate within BBB Pacific Southwest’s service area and have not previously received funding during the COVID-19 crisis may apply. Visit our website for application and criteria details.

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