This landing page includes information for businesses seeking a Small Business Relief Grant. Before proceeding, it is recommended that individuals thoroughly read this for information and check back frequently for updates. Below you'll find:
LISC is one of the country's largest social enterprises supporting projects and programs to revitalize underserved communities and bring greater economic opportunity to residents. We invest in affordable housing, quality schools, safer streets, growing businesses and programs that connect people with financial opportunity. In response to the pandemic, we are delivering resources and expertise to support communities, businesses and people. Learn more here.
Applicants may apply for one business only and must be 18 years of age to apply. For business owners with multiple businesses, please complete this application based on your largest business owned. Each grant is limited to one individual/business.
Awards will be made to qualified businesses, and eligibility is based on accurate and complete submission. Priority will be given especially to entrepreneurs of color, women- and veteran-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically under-served places who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.
All awardees will have to certify that they are promoting the best interests of the community and are negatively impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.
Non-profit organizations are ineligible for this particular relief funding program. Be sure to check LISC’s Covid-19 Resource Page: https://www.lisc.org/covid-19/covid-resources/ for the latest resources available to nonprofit organizations and individuals.
Current directors, officers, employees and contractors of LISC and such individuals' family members (spouse, parents, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and spouses of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren) are not eligible to apply or seek an award. In addition to verifying there is no such conflict with LISC, for each round, applicants will need to similarly establish that s/he does not have a conflict with any donors or funders involved in that particular pool. The list of Donors/Funders connected to a particular round will be disclosed explicitly for response by the applicant or finalist.
If awarded, please be advised that the business/applicant’s application information, name, statements, and other information provided during the award process may be used for promotional purposes in all forms and media and the business/applicant may be contacted by LISC and/or the program sponsors for such purposes. Applicant grants to LISC and the program sponsors a perpetual license to use such information without additional compensation (except where prohibited by law), and without any right to review and/or approve such content. Until notified, applicants must agree not to share any status as finalist publicly, including but not limited to all social media platforms, news media, or local publications.
LISC may monitor and conduct evaluation activity funded by the Small Business Recovery Grant. This might involve a review of quantitative or qualitative data needed to understand the impact of the fund.
Can I change my application after it’s been submitted?
No, you cannot change the application once it’s been submitted. It is recommended that before completing and submitting the online form, respondents save their answers in a separate backup document, as your work may not be saved if you leave the web page before submitting the application. You may also lose your work if your internet is disconnected, or as a result of other potential web browser issues. We cannot accept changes to your application once it has been submitted, so please review it carefully.
Do grant applicants receive a confirmation that they submitted their application?
Every applicant receives a confirmation screen that follows if all fields are filled out correctly and after hitting "done".
If I applied in a previous round, do I have to apply again or will my application roll-over?
No, applications do not roll over to later rounds. You must submit a new application for each round of grants in order to be considered for funding that round. Each round has unique aspects and distinct funder requirements.
If I received a LISC Small Business Relief Grant in a prior round, may I reapply for subsequent rounds?
Prior awardees from earlier LISC Small Business Relief Grant pools are ineligible for multiple awards and should not reapply, even if s/he own multiple businesses.
When will portal close for submission?
Applications are being accepted in “rounds”. A round is open for one week and then closed. Dates for each round are posted on the LISC website so check back frequently
What is Registration?
You may register here to be notified of grant rounds opening.
How will I be contacted or know if I will receive a grant?
LISC will primarily utilize email to communicate with all applicants. Be sure to check email regularly, including spam folders. Email updates to all applicants will come from LISC Small Business Relief Grants (firstname.lastname@example.org). Finalists will receive next steps from Small Business Relief Grant Finalist.
Finalists will be notified by email and must respond promptly. The return of any grantee notification message or document as undeliverable may result in disqualification of the applicable grantee, the forfeiture of his or her interest in the grant and the selection of a substitute from among all remaining eligible finalists.
What does it mean to be a “finalist” and will there be additional documentation required?
If your business is selected as a finalist, you will be notified via email. Being selected as a finalist does not guarantee you will receive a grant. As a finalist, additional documentation will be required to screen and verify business information for due diligence, parameters of which are required by the funding source. This may include a background search that we will conduct at our expense and submission of additional information to include verification information such as SSN, TIN/ITIN, EIN, W-9 and appropriate banking information in order to receive funds via ACH if awarded. The background verification does not involve a credit check or credit score pull.
If you are selected as a finalist, you will hear from LISC via email by the following dates listed below:
What are the size of the awards?
Grants will be made in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. LISC will use the funding to provide grants to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of Covid-19.
What can the grant be used for?
The Grantee shall fully comply with all applicable federal, state, local (and any other governmental) laws, executive orders, rules, and regulations in connection with its use of grant funds.
Does anything need to be repaid?
No, these grants do not need to be repaid. However, all taxes associated with the acceptance and/or uses of cash awarded are the sole responsibility of the individual grantee. Cash awarded will be reported by LISC to the IRS as LISC deems necessary according to applicable law. It is further the policy of LISC that all LISC grantees be advised to consult with their own tax professionals and/or legal counsel to ascertain the tax impact of the cash awards. LISC will issue a Form 1099 for any grant of $600 or more.
Will receiving a grant impact other federal assistance or unemployment insurance eligibility?
A grant may affect your unemployment insurance claim if the grant is used to pay payroll expenses during the period you receive unemployment benefits. The amount of unemployment assistance is usually determined by recent earnings, and most likely, you will have to certify on a weekly basis to any income received the previous week as wages. Please consult your state’s unemployment office for more information about unemployment insurance claims.
The awarding of a grant by LISC will not affect the ability of a business to apply for and receive an SBA PPP loan or other federal assistance available under the CARES Act. However, grantees are advised that the same business expenses cannot be funded by a LISC grant and federal funds. Recipients of PPP loans or other funding under the CARES Act must be prepared to demonstrate, upon request by the SBA or other government agency or as a component of an application for forgiveness of a PPP loan, that no other funding source was used to pay for the same costs as those paid for by the PPP loan or CARES Act funding.
Have additional questions?
We are monitoring inquiries sent to SmallBusinessGrants@lisc.org and will be posting answers and updates on this landing page in an effort to support transparency and equal access to information for all applicants.