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  • Pair of WBDC Grant Programs Reopening for New Round of Applications

    STAMFORD, Conn. —  In August, the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) will once again be accepting applications for both its Equity Match Grant Program and its Child Care Business Opportunity Fund. The Equity Match Grant Program is made possible through the support of multiple corporate, foundation, and private funders, and the CT Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). The Child Care Business Opportunity Fund is supported through a partnership with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC).

    With the reopening of the application processes for the Equity Match Grant Program on August 14 and the Child Care Business Opportunity Fund on August 30, WBDC will offer five different grant programs to support businesses across Connecticut.

    “We are so pleased to be, once again, offering an opportunity for Connecticut small businesses to access the resources that are so critical to their business growth and success,” said WBDC Founder and CEO Fran Pastore. “These programs have supported hundreds of businesses throughout Connecticut, helping women entrepreneurs and child care providers grow their businesses, create and maintain jobs in our state, and contribute significantly to Connecticut’s economy. I’m incredibly proud of the work we are doing and the impact these programs are having on our small business community.”

    Current WBDC Grant Programs

    Equity Match Grant Program offers grants of up to  $10,000 to qualified women-owned small businesses in Connecticut for a clearly defined project that will have a measurable impact on the business, its growth, and profitability.

    WBDC Child Care Business Opportunity Fund offers grants to child care businesses and their employees through three types of grants.

    • Start-Up Grant Program offers up to $5,000 for family homes, $10,000 for group homes, and $25,000 for centers to be used for start-up and operating expenses.

    • Expansion Grant Program offers up to $25,000 to create additional child care slots, maximize enrollments, and/or create new revenue streams.

    • Emergency Facilities Grant Program offers up to $25,000 for urgent facilities projects to remain open and safe.

    New London / WBDC Small Business Grant Program offers grants of up to $10,000 to qualified small businesses located in New London, Connecticut

    Torrington / WBDC Small Business Grant Program offers grants of up to $10,000 to qualified small businesses located in Torrington, Connecticut

    Waterbury / WBDC Small Business Grant Program offers grants of up to $10,000 to qualified small businesses located in Waterbury, Connecticut

    Equity Match Grant Program

    The Equity Match Grant Program will accept applications for its seventh round Monday, August 14th through Wednesday, September 27. Established in 2020, the Equity Match Grant Program has awarded $2 million to 216 businesses in every Connecticut county, including 29% to minority-owned businesses and 20% to businesses located in economically distressed communities (as defined by the CT Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD)).

    According to a recent survey of previous Equity Match Grant recipients:

    • Of respondents who received the grant at least 12 months ago:

      • 79% have increased revenues

      • 65% increased profits

      • 50% hired new employees

    • Of respondents from rounds 1 – 5

      • 83 companies created 139 jobs

      • 24 recipients have accessed 31 additional capital infusions totaling more than $1.9 million

    Applications are accepted in English and Spanish.

    Information sessions will be held – in English and Spanish – for businesses interested in applying. The sessions will include information on eligibility, what the grants can be used for, and the application process. After attending a live or pre-recorded information session, applicants can schedule a one-on-one session with a WBDC Business Advisor for additional guidance. A complete schedule of information sessions and registration links can be found here.

    WBDC Child Care Opportunity Fund

    The WBDC Child Care Opportunity Fund will accept applications for its sixth round from Wednesday, August 30th, through Wednesday, September 27th.  These grants are designed to help licensed and aspiring child care businesses and feature a wide range of grant programs that relate to the different stages of a child care business, from start-ups to those ready to expand their business.

    Since its inception in 2020, the program has distributed 455 grants totaling over $5.1 million in funding to Connecticut’s child care providers. These OEC-funded grants have reached providers in 77 towns, with 80% going to businesses in an underserved child care community and 58% to minority-owned businesses. The grants have helped providers maintain over 2,240 jobs and more than 8,250 child care slots in Connecticut.

    About the Women’s Business Development Council 

    The Women’s Business Development Council’s (WBDC) mission is to support economic prosperity for women and strengthen communities through entrepreneurial and financial education services that create and grow sustainable jobs and businesses across Connecticut. WBDC educates, motivates, and empowers women to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency. Since 1997, WBDC has educated and trained nearly 18,000 clients in all of Connecticut’s 169 towns—helping women to launch, sustain and scale over 13,300 businesses, create and maintain 29,000 jobs in Connecticut, and access more than $66 million in capital. Visit ctwbdc.org for more information.