By Zack Frink, Elevate Dayton
A mini-grant program funded by the City of Dayton has started to empower small minority- and women-owned businesses by offering them much-needed financial assistance for expansion and growth, reports the Dayton Daily News.
The big picture: The city of Dayton has allocated $1.5 million from its federal COVID relief funds to the Miami Valley Urban League for a micro-grant program known as the Dayton Resiliency Fund.
Driving the news: The program, which began in February, recently awarded 23 micro-grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to minority- and women-owned businesses, distributing over $135,000 in its first round of funding.
Zoom in: The awarded businesses span sectors including healthcare, construction, childcare, food services and professional services.
Each recipient provided an explanation of how their finances had been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
Between the lines: The program highlights the lack of access to capital that often constrains small businesses, a barrier that this initiative is designed to address.
By the numbers: In the first round, the Miami Valley Urban League received about 35 applications.
Officials hope that around 550 small minority- women-led businesses will eventually benefit from these micro-grants.
What's next: The Urban League is set to announce the recipients of the second round of funding in June, with applications for a third funding round opening next week.
Go deeper: Businesses interested in applying for the grant should be at least six-months old and be prepared to detail how they have been financially impacted by the pandemic. Along with the grant, recipients also receive technical assistance from the Urban League.
This article originally appeared on Elevate Dayton and republished through its partnership with the Dayton Weekly News.