SmartBiz® Boost a Small Business in Need Grant Program
Empowering Black and Minority-Owned Businesses in Austin and San Francisco

Apply for a $1000 grant from SmartBiz Loans

At SmartBiz Loans®, we understand the playing field is not level for all small business owners. While we're proud that we facilitate over 50% of our funded loans to minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses, we know we can do more.

We will be awarding $1000 grants to Black and Minority-owned businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Austin Area through the SmartBiz Boost a Small Business in Need Grant Program. Check your eligibility and fill out the form below to submit your application by July 17, 2020.

Applications will be reviewed based on criteria designed to prioritize particularly challenged businesses, and the final grantees will be randomly selected from the top scoring applicants.

Eligibility requirements

  • Less than 50 employees (Sole Proprietorships are also eligible)
  • Valid business license
  • Owned by an entrepreneur of color
  • At least one year in operation
  • Located in the San Francisco Bay Area or Greater Austin Area
  • Ability to complete an interview about impact and use of funds after distribution
  • Signed media release form
  • Submit application before 12am PST on July 17, 2020

For more information, view the grant rules and FAQ here.

Grant Application

Applications have now closed. Thank you for your interest in the SmartBiz Boost a Business in Need Grant Program!

Eligibility: Applicants may apply for one business only and must be 18 years of age to apply. For owners with multiple businesses, please submit the application based on your largest business. Each grant is limited to one individual/business. Sole proprietors are eligible.

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 and other enterprises in historically under-served communities who traditionally have less access to flexible, affordable capital.

Non-profit organizations are ineligible for this grant program.

Privacy: Information provided through the application process is the responsibility of each applicant. Applications remain confidential to the public and fellow applicants. Applicants will not hold SmartBiz Loans, its affiliates, members, partners, and staff liable for any losses, damages, costs, or expenses, of any kind relating to the use or the adequacy, accuracy, or completeness of any information in the form.

Conflict of Interest: Current directors, officers, employees and contractors of SmartBiz Loans 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.

Publicity: Once funds are distributed, SmartBiz Loans will promote across our social media channels and in other SmartBiz communications, including but not limited to, customer newsletters, emails, and social media. Applicant grants to SmartBiz Loans 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.

Monitoring: SmartBiz Loans will conduct interviews with business owners who receive funds about the impact of the grant to be used in other SmartBiz communications, including but not limited to, customer newsletters, blog posts, and social media.


Can I change my application once it’s been submitted?

No. Applications are final and may not be changed once submitted.

Do applicants receive confirmation once the application has been submitted?

Each completed application should trigger a confirmation screen that says the application was successfully submitted.

How will I be contacted or know if I received the grant?

SmartBiz Loans will primarily use email to contact recipients. Please check your Inbox, as well as your Spam folders to avoid miscommunication.

When will recipients be notified?

On or about July 31, 2020.

When will funds from the grant be distributed?

Grant funds will be scheduled to issue within 2 weeks of recipients receiving notification.

When do funds from the grant need to be used?

By December 31, 2020. We will request a copy of receipts for the use of grant funds by this time as well.

What can funds be used for?

Repairs, inventory, new hires, marketing, etc.

Does anything need to be repaid?

No, these grants do not need to be repaid. However, any taxes associated with the acceptance and/or uses of the funds are the sole responsibility of the individual grantee. Cash awarded will be reported to the IRS as SmartBiz Loans deems necessary according to applicable law.

Will receiving this grant affect eligibility for federal loan assistance?

For information on how this grant may affect PPP Loans, visit the SBA Treasury website.