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Where women business owners can turn for COVID-19 financial help

The coronavirus pandemic has small-business owners scrambling for financial survival and looking for resources to help them chart a path forward when quarantines lift.

While the federal government has rolled out a comprehensive aid plan, other companies and organizations also have earmarked funds, some specifically designated to help women business owners recover.


The Tory Burch Foundation

The Tory Burch Foundation landing page offers multiple resources for women running a business during the pandemic, including links to webinars, resource libraries and tips for navigating government funding relief programs as well as work-at-home and self-care tips.

The Tory Burch Foundation Capital Program powered by Bank of America provides women entrepreneurs in the United States the opportunity to access affordable loans through Community Lenders, also known as a Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The partnership program connects women entrepreneurs with local community lenders, who directly provide affordable loans to eligible women entrepreneurs.

Complete a loan pre-screening form here.


The IFW COVID-19 Relief Fund provides microgrants to women-owned businesses that are being impacted by this crisis. Donors can contribute to the fund or start a campaign on IFW to be considered for a grant. Grants are distributed on a rolling basis.


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Federal resources

The CARES Act includes federally guaranteed low-interest loans under the Paycheck Protection Program and funding for Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and Minority Business Centers to provide free training, education and advising for small businesses.

Find a nearby location of a Women’s Business Center here.

Small businesses in every U.S. state and territory also can apply for a SBA low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loan. These loans provide working capital of up to $2 million to help overcome temporary loss of revenue.

Treasury also partners with community banks and community development loan funds with its Small Business Lending Fund to encourage small-business lending. More than 300 institutions participate.

Read a detailed description of federal coronavirus aid programs here.

Hello Alice

Hello Alice, a “business for all” virtual accelerator that uses machine learning technology to match business owners with personalized opportunities and resources, is offering $10,000 emergency grants, with the support of Silicon Valley Bank, the eBay Foundation and other partners, available immediately to small-business owners impacted by the pandemic.

Verizon is providing mentorship, but not direct grant funds.

Hello Alice also offers an online COVID-19 Business Resource Center with information on topics ranging from financial aid options to anxiety and mental health support.

Apply for a Business for All Grant application here.

Learn more about the program here.

Spanx/Red Backpack Fund

Sara Blakely, the billionaire founder and CEO of Spanx Inc. and Atlanta Hawks co-owner, announced on Instagram that she’s donating $5 million to female entrepreneurs who need assistance amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The donation will provide 1,000 female small-business owners with $5,000 each.

Read more here, and apply here.

Council of Fashion Designers of America grants

The Council of Fashion Designers of America is awarding grants of up to $100,000 through its A Common Thread initiative. Anyone in the fashion industry who has been in business for more than two years can apply here.

Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund

Verizon is offering grants of up to $10,000 through the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19 — especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and enterprises in historically underserved communities that don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.

LISC is a non-profit community development financial institution that supports community development initiatives in 35 cities and across 2,100 rural counties in 44 states.

Register here to be notified for a funding round beginning mid-April.

SheaMoisture relief fund

Haircare and beauty brand SheaMoisture and its parent company Sundial Brands will offer $1 million in relief funds to women entrepreneurs of color affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, USA Today reported.

Read more here.

Texas Woman’s University AssistHer Emergency Relief Grant

These $10,000 grants are for technology upgrades or other items needed for women-owned businesses to change or adapt their business model during the pandemic. Apply here.

Visa Foundation grants

The Visa Foundation announced a program to provide $10 million in coronavirus relief. The foundation focuses on fostering women’s economic advancement.

Read more here.