Due to COVID – 19 outbreak, multiple entrepreneurs and business owners around the whole country have faced severe financial issues. Due to the pandemic, most of the non-essential businesses have closed their doors.
A recent poll from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce explained that 24% of small businesses are going to shut down permanently within less than two months, and 11% are less than one month away. As a result, the unemployment rate will also get higher from the past decade.
The federal government has taken a few steps to cover such a crisis. They have offered financial assistance more than $600 billion through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), administered under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
But still, the requirement and demand for monetary resources remain high, especially among women business owners and small entrepreneurs.
Women business owners and small entrepreneurs shared a great position in the economy in 2019. As per the American Express, majority women-owned businesses made up 42% of all businesses, and also women-owned businesses employ 9.4 million workers in the United States alone. Apart from that, small businesses have earned great growth under female entrepreneurs.
Unfortunately, according to financial experts, up to 90% of women business owners and small entrepreneurs are getting denied a PPP loan, which offers $349 billion to small businesses, because financial institutions are selecting pre-existing customers while distributing the funds.
Laurie Fabiano, president of the Tory Burch Foundation, has added – “Women tend to have less of a track record with banks, because women tend to borrow less than men. Most of them don’t have a banker on speed dial.”
As a result many female entrepreneurs and small business owners who didn’t owe a bank loan, may not get the opportunity to get the funding.
The American Express also showed the fact that many women-owned businesses are categorized under the industries which are most vulnerable to the COVID-19 outbreak. 22% of the businesses are consumer-oriented businesses, such as hair salons, nail salons, and pet groomers. Apart from that women also own 16% of the hospitality sector and foodservice industry.
To help women business owners and small business entrepreneurs in this crucial sector of the economy, here are some of the great resources available during and after the pandemic.
Tory Burch Foundation
The foundation’s website works as a resource center for women-owned businesses in the time of the pandemic. It guides how to apply for loans, how to manage cash flow, and how to take care of your kids during the COVID – 19 outbreak.
The foundation is helping woman-oriented businesses by navigating important information online. The officials of this foundation spent a good amount of time and effort to gather the top resources, created a list of hundreds of links, and also created content regarding the plan of action.
Hello Alice is a free multichannel platform that gives the resources for women-oriented businesses for growing. It has created a Covid-19 Business for All Emergency Grant fund which will provide $10,000 grants to small business owners, who are affected by the pandemic. It also created a Spanish version of the Covid-19 Business Resource Center page which will help Spanish people to improve their business. Apart from that, it also offers a part of its grant fund to Hispanic woman-owned small businesses.
IFundWomen COVID-19 Relief Fund
It is a crowdfunding platform that gives micro-grants to women-owned businesses. It issues its funds on a rolling basis. This fund will surely be helpful for small business owners to find ways to become debt free and boost its revenue.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program
Facebook offered a $100 million fund, $40 million in grants to 10,000 U.S.-based small businesses. Apart from that, Facebook also announced prioritizing 50% of grants to eligible minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses.
It has launched the Doonie Fund, which is providing immediate funding of $100 for black women-owned businesses.
Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund
Verizon has created a $7.5 million grant program for small businesses in the U.S., practically targeting entrepreneurs of color, women, and business owners from underserved communities. The funds are distributed through a series of rounds. To get the funding, business owners should be at least 18 years old and they will be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in grant money. This is one of the most promising funds that can help women-oriented businesses to get success.
The Columbus-Franklin County COVID-19 Small Business Response and Recovery Fund
The Columbus-Franklin County COVID-19 Small Business Response and Recovery Fund provides grants, technical assistance, and low-interest loans to the woman-centric small businesses, who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Red Backpack Fund
The founder of Spanx, Sara Blakely collaborated with the nonprofit organization GlobalGiving and initiated The Red Backpack Fund for women entrepreneurs, affected by the pandemic. The fund will provide $5,000 grants to at least 1,000 women entrepreneurs in the U.S.
Applications for the fund opened in April and will run through August 2020. Each month, 200 women entrepreneurs will be chosen to win the $5,000 grant. They can also win a free all-access pass to 80+ MasterClass sessions, including Blakely’s class on entrepreneurship.
The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC)
The USWCC has associated with the American Small Business Chamber of Commerce and collected resources to help women start and build successful businesses. They provide guidance to women entrepreneurs to get the SBA relief fund.
AssistHer Emergency Relief Grant
Texas Woman’s University is providing $10,000 grants to women-owned businesses in Texas. The funds are focused to help the technology upgrades or other items needed to change or adapt business models. But it shouldn’t be used for making payments of sales tax and payroll, advertising, purchase of food, penalties, and fees, and charitable donations.
Moms as Entrepreneurs
Moms as Entrepreneurs is a nonprofit business resource for women, which is providing a Covid-19 relief fund for women-owned businesses, especially mothers. The fund is providing grants of $500-$1,000 to mom entrepreneurs who have been denied government loans or other funding sources during the outbreak.
The Visa Foundation provided $200 million over the last five years. The funding is focused to be distributed in $60 million in grants to NGOs that support small and micro businesses. They are one of the faces that promotes women-run businesses and women’s empowerment.