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Lowe’s giving out small business COVID-19 relief grants through LISC



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As the pandemic hit business across the world, small business owners are coming up with new ways to stay afloat. Renard Bergstrom, owner of Bergstrom Cars, found ways to sustain his car dealerships and not layoff any employees. (July 23)

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Monday is the deadline to apply for small business emergency relief grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 from Lowe’s.

The nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation, also known as LISC, is giving out the grants thanks to the home improvement chain’s $55 million contribution. Applications will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. ET Aug. 3 in the fifth round of relief grants.

According to a news release, the grants will “provide immediate relief for critical needs such as rent, payroll and operational expenses to keep businesses running.” The grants do not need to be repaid.

Of the $55 million, $30 million will focus on small businesses owned or led by minorities and women and $25 million will support enterprises in rural communities, the release said.

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“We cannot solve this need alone, and I encourage other companies to step up and make a difference in supporting small businesses, which are the cornerstone of our economy,” Lowe’s president and CEO Marvin Ellison said in a statement. “Together, we can make a meaningful difference, especially for those in historically disinvested communities and areas hit hardest by COVID-19.”

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Lowe’s contribution makes the retailer the largest donor to LISC’s “Covid Rapid Relief & Resiliency Fund.” Other sponsors of the fund include Verizon, Sam’s Club, Wells Fargo, State Farm and AT&T.

The awardees will have to certify that “they are promoting the best interests of the community and are negatively impacted” by the pandemic.

According to LISC, the nation’s largest community development nonprofit, applications will be reviewed based on criteria “designed to prioritize particularly challenged businesses, and the final grantees will be randomly selected from the top scoring applicants.”

Finalists will receive an email by Aug. 21, according to frequently asked questions. Learn more about the grants and apply at www.lisc.org/lowes.

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Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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