March 29, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Diane G. Papadakos, Director of Communications
City of West Palm Beach – Mayor’s Office
561-822-1411 (TTY: 800-955-8771)
City of West Palm Beach Launches $500,000 Grant Program for Small and Minority/Women-Owned Businesses
Owners within City limits will have the potential for us to $50,000 in grant funding if they qualify
WEST PALM BEACH, FL – The City of West Palm Beach is excited to announce a new $500,000 funding initiative, First Steps: Small Business and Minority / Women Business Enterprise Grant Programs, which will launch in Spring 2023. Mayor Keith A. James will announce the new grant programs with Frank Hayden, director of the Mayor’s Office of Small and Minority/Woman Business (OSMWBP), on April 7, 2023, at 1 p.m. in the Flagler Gallery at City Hall. The funding is designed to create pathways to growth for the City’s small business community as it continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and manage current economic headwinds.
“A vibrant City depends on a vibrant business community,” Mayor Keith A. James said. “This program shows how much we believe in the American Dream and the ability of small businesses to grow and prosper with a little bit of help. Small businesses give so much to our City, we are giving them a hand up to get them through tough times.”
First Steps follows the success of the City’s Small and Minority/Woman Business COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Loan Program (M/WBE) offered in 2022. Recognizing the ongoing challenges affecting small businesses, including inflation, supply chain issues, and staffing shortages, City officials are providing support to owners who may not be able to take on debt to recover or grow their businesses.
Grant opportunities will be offered in four areas critical to small business success, including marketing, inventory/equipment, property improvement, and new business development. Grants range from $20,000 to $50,000. Businesses may apply for funding in one area, only, and each grant requires specific information and documentation. Funding will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, according to applicants’ eligibility as City-certified Small Business (SBE) and Minority/Woman Business Enterprise (M/WBE) programs.
In addition to SBE and/or M/WBE certification, a business must meet the following qualifications at a minimum to be eligible for First Steps. Businesses must be:
- Located in the City of West Palm Beach (within City limits);
- A for-profit organization registered to do business with the State of Florida Division of Corporations;
- Free of any City lien encumbrances and code violations; and,
- Current on property taxes if the business owner is the property owner.
Director Hayden sees how essential small businesses are critical to the local and statewide economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses comprise 99.8 percent of Florida’s businesses.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our community,” Hayden said. “They play a significant role in supporting everyone, from providing jobs to offering goods and services, especially for those residents who don’t have transportation and rely on their neighborhood businesses. When we invest in small business, we invest in everyone’s ability to thrive.”
Business owners who wish to apply for First Steps are encouraged to attend the public announcement and the workshop that will follow on April 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Flagler Gallery at City Hall. During the workshop, OSMWBP will share the details and requirements to apply for the grants and methods for reviewing and accepting grant applications. More details about First Steps are available on our official website.
The City invites other small business owners to learn about the benefits of becoming a certified small and minority/woman business by visiting https://www.wpb.org/our-city/mayor-s-office/office-equal-opportunity.
If you go:
What: First Steps: Small Business and Minority / Women Business Enterprise Grant Programs Launch
Where: Flagler Gallery, West Palm Beach City Hall, 401 Clematis Street West Palm Beach, FL 33401
When: April 7, 2023
-Mayor James’s announcement: 1:00 p.m.
-Workshop for City-certified SBE and/or M/WBE: 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
For more information regarding this grant, please contact Sandra Hammerstein, Small & Minority Woman Business Programs Compliance Officer at (561) 822-1273 (TTY: 866-336-8435, ext. 1273) or email [email protected].
About The City of West Palm Beach
The City of West Palm Beach is a vibrant, growing, waterfront City that offers the business advantages available in the region, combined with a more refined and relaxed environment for living and working. To learn more about the City of West Palm Beach, visit us on our official website, or follow us on our social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and/or Linked-in.
Originally published at https://www.wpb.org/Home/Components/News/News/3292/772