Lowe’s Small Business Grant Program for Rural Communities

If you are in need of a grant to start or boost your small business, then this article will interest you. Have you heard about Lowe’s Small Business Grant?

Never mind. Don’t bother your head dear. This article will give you all the information you need about this grant. It might interest you to know that Lowe is giving out coronavirus small business relief grants up to $20,000 through nonprofit LISC. However, what is LISC?

Lowe's Small Business Grant Program for Rural Communities

What is LISC?

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is a US non-profit community development financial institution (CDFI) that supports community development initiatives in 35 cities and across 2,100 rural counties in 44 states.

LISC was created in 1979 by executives from the Ford Foundation. LISC’s affiliates include:

  • The National Equity Fund (NEF).
  • Also, the largest national syndicator of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC).
  • The New Markets Support Company.
  • Additionally, a national syndicator of New Markets Tax Credits, and immito, which specializes in SBA 7a lending.

Some Functions of LISC

LISC and its affiliates support community development projects through grants, loans, and equity investments as well as technical and management assistance.

In the 2018 fiscal year, it reported grants, loans, and investments totaling US$1.5 billion, leveraging $4.4 billion in total development and supporting over 700 partners across America.

Since 1979, LISC has invested $20 billion into communities, leveraging $60.4 billion to support the creation of 400,500 affordable homes and apartments and 66.8 million square feet of retail and community facilities.

What You Need to Know About Lowe’s Foundation

Lowe’s foundation is committed to making homes better for all. the definition of home extends into our neighborhoods and communities, especially in our hometown – the Greater Charlotte, North Carolina area.

It was founded in 1957. Also, the Lowe’s Charitable & Educational Foundation has a long history of supporting communities across the country.

Additionally, for over 60 years, the foundation supported K-12 public education. And this was along with other community projects.

However, the focus recently shifted to better serve our communities. And this was through alignment with our commitment to safe, affordable housing and skilled trades education.

Lowe’s Grant Programs

Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation focus giving efforts on K-12 public/charter education and community improvement projects.

These community improvement projects are high-need projects. Such as;

  • Building renovations/upgrades.
  • Grounds improvements.
  • Also, technology upgrades.
  • Additionally, safety improvements.

It has two grant programs, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education and Lowe’s Community Partners.

Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grants  

Through our support for public education, we’re closing the funding gap facing many schools today. Each year, the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grants program contributes more than $5 million to fund improvements at public schools in the United States.

Projects should fall into one of the following categories: technology upgrades, tools for STEM programs, facility renovations, and safety improvements.

Projects should address a critical need and align with Lowe’s company purpose; to help people love where they live. Toolbox grant requests can range from $2,000 to $100,000.

Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grants  

Lowe’s Community Partners Grants  

Lowe’s Community Partners grant program helps build better communities by providing monetary assistance to nonprofit organizations and municipalities looking for support of high-need projects such as: building renovations/upgrades, grounds improvements, technology upgrades as well as safety improvements.

Grants range from $2,001 to $100,000. Our Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteer program is another opportunity for support, which Lowe’s can provide to some grant recipients to help supplement the labor of projects.

We encourage applicants to speak to their local store manager to see if this is a possibility before applying.

What Lowe Offers to Small Businesses 

For much of 2020, small businesses, which form the economic backbone of communities, have faced immense financial pressure because of COVID-19.

Rural communities have been especially hard hit, not only by the pandemic but also by a wave of natural disasters including hurricanes, wildfires, and floods–events that have exacerbated the challenges they already face. 

Limited access to bank credit, capital, and other support services present additional hurdles for the survival of rural small businesses. 

Important Information About Lowe’s Small Business Grant Program

As part of their continuing commitment to elevating our impact in rural America, LISC has teamed up with Lowe’s to award Rural Relief Small Business Grants to small business owners in rural locations across the country.

Grants of $20,000 are available to help rural small businesses meet their most urgent needs such as: 

  • Paying rent and utilities 
  • Meeting payroll 
  • Paying outstanding debt to vendors 
  • Upgrading technology infrastructure 
  • Other immediate operational costs 

Eligibility Criteria

  • 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 own. 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 that 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.

For more information, visit https://www.lisc.org/covid-19/small-business-assistance/small-business-relief-grants/

Who is the Lowe’s Small Business Grants Open for?

Lowe’s small business grant application is open for the first wave of its $25 Million in Minority. Home improvement retailer partners with LISC to administer this round of grants to help minority- and women-owned small businesses reopen and stay open.

Lowe’s donation will fuel emergency grants in historically underserved communities, as well as other assistance, to help owners navigate business challenges during the pandemic.

Importance of the Lowe’s Small Business Grant

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation’s largest community development organization, will manage the process of vetting applications for grants that will bring critical aid to minority- and women-led small businesses.

Also, Lowe’s has been committed to helping minority small business owners. And it is the very backbone of our economy.

Additionally, it is committed to helping people make their homes better extends beyond our walls and into our neighborhoods, communities, and country.

Also, these grants will help minority- and women-led small businesses, many of which have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

Heart-Blowing Testimonies About Lowe’s Small Business Grant

Below are some heart-blowing testimonies about Lowe’s small business grant:

  • “The need for this kind of relief is overwhelming,” said Jones. He noted that when LISC began offering small business rapid relief grants in April, it saw more than 50,000 applications in just the first four days and another 200,000 for subsequent funding”.
  • “Our country’s small businesses are the backbones of rural and urban communities,” Jones said. “They require capital, right now. If they are to continue to provide vital goods and services to their customers and help drive long-term recovery and growth”.

“We are grateful to Lowe’s for their strong commitment to doing just that.”

Current Announcement on Lowe’s Small Business Grant

Today’s announcement is the next step of Lowe’s $50 million commitment to support communities during the pandemic, including providing more than $10 million in essential protective products for medical workers.

Purchasing $1 million worth of flowers from small business growers to be donated and delivered to senior living facilities for Mother’s Day, and providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to minority businesses reopening.

Lowe's Small Business Grant Program for Rural Communities

Some Benefits of Lowe’s Small Business Grant to Retailers

Home improvement retailer increases its minority grant program by $5 million to $30 million. And focuses additional $25 million donations on rural, hard-hit communities nationwide.

Also, he or she pilots drive-in movie programs at select stores to benefit local small business relief efforts. Additionally, this summer, select Lowe’s stores in North Carolina and Georgia, will host drive-in movies to benefit local small business relief efforts for those impacted by COVID-19.

Other Objectives of Lowe’s Small Business Grant Program

It also remains committed to supporting minority small businesses that are being disproportionately impacted.

The current announcement that they are increasing the minority grant commitment to $30 million while making an additional $25 million grant donation to rural communities reflects the commitment to double down on our small business grant program.

Also, “it is another step in putting actions behind our words to support all the communities we serve,” said Lowe’s President and CEO Marvin R. Ellison.

Furthermore, he said that “We cannot solve this need alone, and I encourage other companies to step up and make a difference in supporting small businesses, which are the cornerstone of our economy”.

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These grants will provide immediate relief for critical needs such as rent, payroll, and operational expenses to keep businesses running.

The donation also helps connect both the applicants and grantees to a network of local small business development, support, advocacy, and capital access organizations.

These grant recipients will receive one year of technical assistance post-grant to help further ensure their survival over the longer term.

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