Small Business News
Progressive Announces “Driving Small Business Forward” Grant Program
Small business owners hoping to add some wheels to their operation may have a chance to do so thanks to a newly-announced grant opportunity. The well-known insurance provider Progressive has announced the launch of its Driving Small Business Forward grant program. Partnering with the accelerator Hello Alice, this program is specifically aimed at Hispanic entrepreneurs and will include 10 $25,000 grant winners. These funds can then be used toward the purchase of a commercial vehicle.
This program comes as a McKinsey & Company report finds that Hispanic entrepreneurs start more businesses per capita than any other racial or ethnic group in the U.S. Unfortunately, the study also finds that this group also has a harder time obtaining loans or other investments. Thus, Progressive says it hopes these grants will allow these small business owners to grow their businesses and thrive.
In order to qualify for one of the grants, businesses must first be majority-owned and operated by a Hispanic-identifying entrepreneur. Additionally, small businesses must have 10 or fewer employees and gross less than $5 million in annual revenue. Lastly, the operations need to demonstrate a need for a commercial vehicle. Applications are now open and will be accepted until June 17th at 6 p.m. Eastern. Those selected will be notified via email, with the winning businesses being named publically this upcoming August.
Speaking to why the insurance company decided to launch this grant program, Progressive’s Commercial Lines President Karen Bailo stated, “As the insurer to thousands of small business owners, Progressive understands the unique challenges faced by entrepreneurs and is committed to providing solutions to help meet their needs. It is our hope that this program will make a material impact for the selected business owners and help propel their small business journey.”
Additionally, Hello Alice co-founder and president Elizabeth Gore said of the program, “We are thrilled to partner with Progressive on the Driving Small Business Forward grant program to enable Hispanic entrepreneurs to purchase commercial vehicles that will allow them to grow their businesses… We commend Progressive for their ongoing support of the small businesses that contribute to a thriving and vibrant economy.” Gore also noted a major challenge facing small businesses, saying, “When we asked small business owners on our platform to rank their biggest challenge in 2022, they selected inflation. Now, more than ever, it’s important that small business owners get the resources they need to address these challenges.”
To Gore’s point, small businesses and entrepreneurs have faced a barrage of unique hurdles in recent years. In turn, we’ve also seen a slew of larger companies offering grant programs that can offer at least some relief to deserving business owners. Indeed, while it may be a bit more specific in scope than some other programs, Progressive’s Driving Small Business Forward grant program is a welcomed win for small business owners and will surely be helpful for the 10 businesses that are ultimately selected. On that note, entrepreneurs looking to apply for the program can find more information on Hello Alice.