On Tuesday, April 11, representatives of United Way Windsor-Essex County announced the new Neighbourhood Small Business Grant that will provide four $5,000 start-up grants.
The grants will support the launch of small businesses in United Way priority neighbourhoods across Windsor and Essex County. Essex Centre, Harrow, and Leamington are considered the priority areas to where the grants will be available in the county. Sections of Windsor are also included.
United Way CEO Lorraine Goddard explained this new grant program in designed to encourage growth of small businesses in those priority neighbourhoods to stimulate economic revitalization.
She explained that a focus United Way has through the program is to help create prosperity, not only for a few lucky entrepreneurs, but for the priority neighbourhoods as well.
“We encourage residents that if they have a great idea for a business to submit an application to us,” Goddard said. The requirement is that the potential business be established in one of the priority neighbourhoods in commercial units. “We are looking at building individual prosperity and building neighbourhoods.”
The Windsor-Essex Small Business Centre is a partner in the grant program, and its reps will provide training opportunities to applicants to support local entrepreneurship. Its reps will help strengthen applications through training or supports provided before final submissions are made.
All applications and supporting material must be submitted by July 1. The grants will be awarded based on the merits of their applications, their alignment with the eligibility, and the scope and breadth of their community benefit agreements with the neighbourhood.
Goddard explained that the Neighbourhood Small Business Grant is a pilot program. United Way is hoping to supply the start up grants in a variety of locations this year and to learn from the opportunity.
For more information about the application requirements and funding process, log onto www.weareunited.com.