ESSEX, CHESTER, DEEP RIVER, CT — The application period for the Women’s Business Development Council grants program opens on January 17; Program receives investment from JPMorgan Chase
The Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) has announced that it has received a $300,000 investment from JPMorgan Chase to support its Equity Match Grant (EMG) program.
The WBDC Equity Match Grant program was created to catalyze the growth of women-owned businesses in Connecticut. The program offers grants between $2,500 and $10,000 to fund clearly defined projects that will have a measurable impact on the company, its growth and its profitability.
Since December 2020, 98 grants have been awarded, providing $924,000 to small businesses across the state. This includes 42 companies that received grants in December 2021, as part of the third cycle of the program. Applications for the fourth round will be accepted from January 17 to February 13, 2022.
The grant program grew out of generous contributions from a number of private and public funders and received a significant boost from the State of Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).
“Small businesses make up nearly 50 percent of our state’s jobs, and we all know the incredibly tough few years these businesses have endured,” said Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz. “The WBDC has been an incredible leader and partner with our state for decades, and this grant from JPMorgan Chase will help further the shared mission of providing opportunities, training and education to women who own or choose to open a business.”
JPMorgan Chase’s investment aims to increase WBDC’s ability to empower women entrepreneurs in Connecticut, particularly disadvantaged populations and those in struggling communities. The success of the grant program is due to the coupling of flexible capital with technical assistance for these business owners focused on leadership, business and financial planning, human resources, networking, and mentorship opportunities.
“This generous support from JPMorgan Chase will allow us to continue to provide needed resources to small businesses in Connecticut,” said Fran Pastore, CEO and Founder of WBDC. “It also symbolizes a long-standing partnership between our organizations,” she added. “WBDC is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2022. Our first business checking account was opened at the Chase branch on Prospect Street in Stamford – with a deposit of $60. We still have this account. It’s a meaningful way to celebrate this stage with an organization that has supported us from the start.”
“Unlocking the potential of women-led businesses is a direct path to creating greater economic equity, especially in this time of recovery from the Covid pandemic and given the critical role small businesses play in the global economy. Connecticut economy,” said Laura Davis, managing director, JP Morgan Private Bank. “The Women’s Business Development Council is a true partner in helping women, especially women of color, access the resources and support needed to launch and grow their businesses.”
Round 3 grant recipients included:
- A vegetable and flower farm and farm stand in Farmington that uses its hay wagon grant to provide classic hay rides in the pumpkin patch and a deer fence to expand the land it farms and protect the crops ;
- A hair-braiding studio in Bridgeport that uses its grant to improve its marketing and grow in the sale of hair products;
- A dog training and service company in New London that uses its grant to improve the company’s website and marketing;
- A bakery in Glastonbury which is using its grant to buy a walk-in cooler to store frozen ingredients and baked goods to increase their capacity.
See the link below for a full list of Round Three grant recipients and their contact information.
Among the recipients of the first two rounds:
- 71% of businesses have increased their revenue since receiving the grant
- 56% increased their profits
- 44% jobs created – 76 new jobs in 23 companies
“The WBDC Equity Match Grant has allowed me to put systems in place that have streamlined and optimized our sales process,” said Paula Pierce, owner of Hosting Connecticut LLC, of the impact the grant has had. about his website design and hosting company. “Without the added ‘push’ of me preparing to apply for this grant, I would have less specific financial data and fewer strategic plans to use to grow the business. I am grateful to WBDC, not only for the funds, but for the reasoned supplement,” she added.
The application period for the next round of Equity Match grants opens on January 17. WBDC will host several information sessions to help companies prepare to apply. For the dates and times of these sessions, visit https://ctwbdc.org/class-listings/. For more information on the EMG program, including eligibility requirements, visit https://ctwbdc.org/equity-match-grant-program/.
About the Women’s Business Development Council
Since 1997, the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) has educated and trained more than 15,000 clients, helping women start and grow more than 6,500 businesses, create and sustain more than 8,100 Connecticut jobs, and access over $21.3 million in capital. WBDC is the only Connecticut agency reflecting the demographic makeup of the state offering comprehensive micro-enterprise education, with services ranging from financial education, entrepreneurial development, and access to capital programs.
This press release was produced by the Women’s Business Development Council. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.