The Day – Equity Match Grant Program receives $300,000 boost from JPMorgan Chase as fourth round of funding opens
The Women’s Business Development Council announced Tuesday that it has received a matching donation of $300,000 for its Equity Match grant program, which was created to help women-owned businesses in Connecticut and has just begun its fourth round of funding.
WBDC CEO Fran Pastore said the funding would be matched by the state‘s Department of Economic and Community Development. The program offers grants between $2,500 and $10,000, and since December 2020, $924,000 has been awarded through 98 grants.
Pastore said the goal was not to provide operating funds, but to give businesses and entrepreneurs “the leeway, the space, to pivot their business by coming up with an innovative concept or idea.”
Applications for the fourth round of funding opened on Monday and will be accepted until February 13. Information on eligibility and application requirements is available at ctwbdc.org/equity-match-grant-program.
Forty-two companies won grants in December as part of the third round. In southeast Connecticut, this includes Trade Labels in Mystic, Rhodes Collar in Mystic, Norwich Fitness Center, MB Graphic Design in Taftville, and Ivy’s Simple Homemade in Waterford.
In a webinar on Tuesday morning, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz spoke about her visit to Ivy’s and how a grant helped the restaurant business buy a bigger refrigerator and grow its takeout business. .
Bysiewicz said she and Pastore created the program after finding that Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans went mostly to male- and white-owned businesses.
Jona Jeffcoat of Infinity Music Therapy Services is using the third-round funding she secured to help create a mobile music therapy clinic, which will look like her existing treatment room in Southington but will travel across the state.
Kevnesha Boyd of Quality Counseling in Hamden, which she says has a mission “to address and reduce the impact of racial discrimination and trauma within the black community”, received a grant in May, in the second round . She said this funding has helped her expand her website and recruit more staff.