Taking seCTerRise grant program to the next level

New approach addresses needs at different stages of business growth

In an effort to increase the effectiveness of grant funding for small business growth, job creation and the “import of money” to this region, the seCTerRise program is being divided into two categories: a $10,000 grant and a $25,000 grant. Businesses that meet metrics such as, but not limited to, number of years in business, annual revenue, and number of employees may apply for one of two of the grants. Applications will be accepted for the two funding opportunities as of March 1st, 2024.

“This revision to the program reflects seCTer’s broad scope of activities across the business spectrum,” said Executive Director Paul Whitescarver. “We are the primary support mechanism for both, start-ups and established businesses and this better reflects the support we provide through the various stages of business development.”

seCTerRise is a competitive grant program, funded through the Department of Economic and Community Development, designed to help businesses grow. Several seCTerRise grants up to $10,000 will continue to be available to newer, smaller businesses, while a smaller number of grants up to $25,000 will be available to established businesses that have greater potential to bring in outside revenue to the region. In both cases, funds must be used to expand the business within a defined project scope.

The seCTerRise small business grant funding is available to businesses that have operated for at least one year and have annual revenue of $1.5 million or less. Funding may be used to purchase equipment, inventory, or professional services. Any inventory purchased with grant funds must be directly related to the grant project.  

The seCTerRise established business grant funding is available to businesses that have operated for approximately four years, have at least five full-time employees, and have annual revenue between $1.5 million and $5 million. Funding may be used to purchase equipment or professional services, but not

Applications for both programs need to show how the grant project will help expand the business and include a clear budget and timeline for the project. Job creation or skill training are also key factors for consideration.

Owners of established businesses will be required to show a pattern of growth, and whether there is product or process innovation or research and development associated with the project.

50% of seCTerRise awards will be made to businesses that are minority, veteran, disabled, or women-owned, or businesses located in a distressed municipality. Visit seCTerRise – seCTer for all eligibility and location requirements.

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