Fund Your BusinessSmall Business Grants3 SMB grants to apply for before mid-August

3 SMB grants to apply for before mid-August

Welcome to another grant round-up for small business owners. In this article, we will highlight three different grants aimed at supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs in various regions. Each program offers financial assistance and resources to help businesses recover, grow, and thrive in a post-pandemic economy. If you’re a small business owner in New York, Cook County, or Orange County, there’s an opportunity for you to secure funding and support for your business’s success.

Read on to find out more about these exciting grant programs and how to apply for them.

1. New York Forward Loan Fund 2 program

The New York Forward Loan Fund 2 is part of the State Small Business Credit Initiative efforts led by Empire State Development. It focuses on helping small businesses and non-profits, especially those in low-income and underbanked communities, access flexible working capital.

Throughout the life of the loan, businesses can benefit from free advisory services provided by New York’s Entrepreneurship Assistance Centers (EACs) and Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). Even if you don’t qualify for a loan, these advisors can help you develop a business plan and improve your overall financial position.

The program is managed by Calvert Impact and administered by the Community Reinvestment Fund in collaboration with private sector institutions like Citi Foundation and Wells Fargo.

If you’re a small business owner in New York looking for funding to grow and strengthen your business, the New York Forward Loan Fund 2 might be just what you need. Don’t miss this opportunity to secure financial support for your business’s success!


To be eligible for this loan program, your business or non-profit must meet the following criteria:

  • Been in business for at least 1 year prior to application
  • Have existing operations in New York State
  • Have less than 100 full-time employees
  • Generated less than $5 million in gross annual revenue
  • Demonstrated ability to repay the loan through previous and projected cash flow.

How to Apply:

If your business meets the eligibility requirements, you can pre-apply for the loan at

2. Cook County Small Business Source

Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development have announced an exciting initiative to support small businesses in the area. The 2023 Source Grant, launched through the Cook County Small Business Source, aims to provide $40 million in grants to thousands of small businesses across the County in early 2024.  The aim is to stabilize operations, foster recovery and resiliency, and promote equity in a post-pandemic economy. These funds have been made available through the American Rescue Plan Act.


  • Businesses in operation Cook County to 2020
  • Have fewer than 20 full-time employees
  • All sectors are eligible to apply, however priority will be given to businesses located in suburban Cook County and those in sectors hardest hit by COVID-19, including Arts & Entertainment, Childcare & Social Assistance, Hospitality, Food & Tourism, Retail Trade, and Transportation & Warehousing.
  • Businesses that have applied for or received other types of federal, state, county, or city grants can also apply
  • Previous applicants for the 2022 Cook County Grow Grant need to submit a new application for The 2023 Source Grant

Grant Award Levels:

The 2023 Source Grant offers two grant award levels based on 2019 gross revenue:

  • Businesses with revenue between $20,000 – $50,000 are eligible for $10,000 grants
  • Businesses with revenue of more than $50,000 are eligible for $20,000 grants

Tips for a Successful Application:

  • Ensure all documents are ready ahead of time.
  • Complete applications with all required documentation will be reviewed.
  • Be aware that once you start the application, you cannot return to edit or attach documents.

How to Apply:

The application window is open from Thursday, July 20, to Friday, August 18, at 11:59 p.m. Applicants can apply through the Cook County Small Business Source website. Live webinars will be held during this period to assist applicants in the process.

3. Orange County Small Business Boost

Orange County government has launched an exciting new program, Orange County Small Business BOOST, aimed at providing grants to small businesses, home-based businesses, and gig workers. The BOOST grants offer substantial support, with values of up to $10,000 for small businesses, $3,000 for home-based businesses, and $1,400 for gig workers.

These cash grants are a lifeline for the small business community, which has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re eligible, don’t miss this opportunity to receive the financial assistance your business needs. Program guidelines and application details are available online, and the application process will go live on Tuesday, July 18th. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are depleted.


To be eligible for the Orange County BOOST grants, your business or gig work must meet the following criteria:

  • Small businesses and home-based businesses that experienced a 25% decline in revenue during the pandemic
  • Gig workers who were impacted by COVID-19
  • Funds do not have to be repaid

How to Apply:

If you need help with your application, Orange County is offering educational events to guide you through the process.

In-Person Event Detail: Thursday, August 3, 2023 – 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
National Entrepreneur Center
(inside the Orlando Fashion Square Mall)
3201 East Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL   32803

Click here for more information on the event:


These grant programs present valuable opportunities for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and women and minority-owned brands to receive much-needed financial support and resources. Whether you’re based in New York, Cook County, or Orange County, these initiatives are designed to foster recovery, resilience, and equity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. By taking advantage of these grants, small businesses can access the necessary capital and guidance to not only stabilize their operations but also to flourish and expand.

ASBN Small Business NetworkASBN, from startup to success, we are your go-to resource for small business news, expert advice, information, and event coverage.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest business news know-how from ASBN.

Taiwo Sotikare
Taiwo Sotikare
Taiwo Sotikare is a contributing writer for ASBN with expertise in digital marketing, B2B SaaS, MarTech, and HR industries. He is passionate about helping small businesses grow via effective content marketing and has also written for Entrepreneur Magazine, Hackernoon, and Pangea.

Related Articles