Microenterprise Grant Program
The City of Lewiston is accepting applications for its Microenterprise Grant Program on an ongoing basis.
Any questions or concerns about the Microenterprise Grant Program can be directed to Melinda Rose at email@example.com or 208-798-2582.
About the MGP
The MGP is a program designed to foster microenterprise business development and expansion. A microenterprise is an enterprise with five or fewer employees, one or more of whom owns the enterprise.
The program provides grants and other forms of support for the stabilization and expansion of microenterprises; technical assistance, advice, and business services to owners of microenterprises and persons developing microenterprises; and training and technical assistance or other support services to increase the capacity of grantees to carryout microenterprise activities.
Business Eligibility Criteria
A business owner/business may qualify for the Microenterprise Grant Program if they meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Business must be in the city limits of Lewiston.
- Business must have five (5) or fewer total employees including the owner(s).
- For this program, there is no distinction between a part-time and a full-time employee in the headcount for the business.
- Business must be a private, for-profit business.
- Business must be in good standing with the City, State, and Federal governments.
- Business must be established and operating for at least 6 months at time of application.
Income Eligibility Criteria
The business owner must also meet low-to-moderate income (LMI) eligibility qualifications as established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Also, 51% of the business’s employees must meet LMI criteria.
LMI is either at or below the following income levels based on the number of persons residing in their household:
Number of Persons in Household
Please note that income is defined as salary/wages and any business income as reported on the owner's most recent tax return. Income eligibility is determined through the processing of the below documents which must also be submitted at the time of application:
- Copies of three (3) most recent pay stubs for each employed person in the household.
- If income is received from pension, social security, disability, annuity or any other income source, copies of award letters must be submitted.
- Two (2) years of federal income tax returns/W-2’s.
- Copies of two (2) most recent months household bank statements (savings and checking, all pages).
If a household owns more than one business that qualifies based on the above criteria, only one business will be eligible to receive grant funding.
Eligible Uses of Funding
Grant funding may be used for the following purposes:
- Professional services including marketing and business promotion
- Technological infrastructure and upgrades
- Entrepreneurial training
- Operational expenses including payroll, utilities, rent/mortgage (for commercial locations)
Grant funding may not be used for the following purposes:
- Real property improvements or rehabilitation
- Political activities
- Sectarian activities
- Utilities, rent/mortgage for residential or home-based business occupancies
- Repayment of existing debt
- Reimbursement of costs incurred prior to grant approval
Applicants must submit the following required documents with their application at the time of submission. Applications will not be reviewed until all required pieces have been received.
- Application Form
- Business’ Previous Year Income Tax and Schedule C of IRS Form 1040 (if the business has been established for one year or more)
- Financial Projections
- Executed Lease Agreement (if a business tenant in a leased space)
- Business Plan and Documentation of Business Counseling Service (only if the business has not been established for one year)
Income Verification Documents
- Copies of three (3) most recent pay stubs for each employed person in the household
- Copy of award letters for any income from pension, social security, disability, annuity or other income source
- Two (2) years of federal income tax returns/W-2 or signed affidavit of tax filing status
- Copies of two (2) most recent months bank statements (checking and savings, all pages)
Note: The city may request additional documentation to ensure program eligibility.
How Much Funding is Available?
The maximum amount awarded is $5,000. No private match is required. PLEASE NOTE: Funding is administered as a reimbursement upon submission of approved receipts by the applicant.
When are Applications Due?
The Microenterprise Grant Program is administered on a rolling basis with no fixed deadline for submission. Any applications received after all grant funding is expended will be placed on a waitlist if additional funding becomes available.
Upon receipt of the application, the Community Development Department will review and evaluate the application to ensure the request meets the program's criteria. Upon the preapproval and selection of an application, the Community Development Department will conduct an initial client consultation. The client will then sign a grant agreement. Upon submission of invoices/materials receipts and payment approval, payment will be issued to the client.