Chamber to give $5K grants to small businesses

Chamber to give $5K grants to small businesses
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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a fund to provide assistance to small businesses in the form of $5,000 grants, the pro-business lobbying group announced on Wednesday.

The Save Small Business Fund, in collaboration with Vistaprint and with support from Merck, S&P Global Foundation and Travelers, will include contributions from corporations and philanthropies. The grant is expected to address small businesses’ immediate needs like closures and job losses, as well as support their long-term recovery. 

Applications for the Chamber’s fund will open on April 20. The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration's $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), designed to provide loans for small businesses, is quickly running out of funds and could possibly be used up by Friday.

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The average PPP loan size has been $239,152 and 70 percent of all loans so far were under $150,000, according to data from the American Bankers Association. 

“These small businesses touch every family and every block of every town across America. And they need our help right now,” Chamber President Suzanne Clark said in a statement. “We cannot and will not allow our country’s critical small business sector to collapse.”

The grants are part of the Chamber's larger Save Small Business Initiative, which also includes an advocacy campaign to keep pushing lawmakers to help small businesses, resources to provide guidance to struggling businesses and continued research about the coronavirus impact.

Updated: 7:19 p.m.