Amazon Business, the business procurement arm of Amazon, has announced its 2023 Small Business Grants program, designed to spur innovation and support the growth of small businesses that are driving impact in their communities.
This year, the company will give U.S.-based small businesses the chance to win over $250,000 in grants. Amazon Business customers with annual revenues of $1 million or less can apply for a grant, with one grand-prize winner, a group of finalists, and semifinalists receiving monetary grants, and other support. Applications are due by May 21, and winners will be announced on July 17.
Virtual X Kitchen, based in College Park, Maryland, was a 2022 grant finalist, receiving $20,000 to put into its business. It works to create a sustainable restaurant model for urban areas by maximizing kitchen space for multiple owners to share and increasing efficiency through technological advancements.
“We are so grateful for the opportunity that the Small Business Grant has provided our business,” said Naumaan “Nomie” Hamid, CEO and founder of the company, in a statement. “Thank you to everyone that voted! It has been amazing to see how far Virtual X Kitchen has come since our launch a little over a year ago, and we can’t wait to see how far it will go.”
In celebration of the month, Amazon Business also published findings from a poll of 500 U.S.-based small-business decision-makers.
The results found that the top three challenges facing small-business leaders are high inflation (63 percent), economic recession (39 percent), and supply chain disruptions (30 percent). To contend with these challenges, small businesses are focused on financial resilience. Despite these worries, this population remains optimistic: 55 percent of respondents indicate they feel more hopeful about the success of their business than they did a year ago.
“At Amazon Business, we are committed to the growth of small businesses and invest in education, grants, and tools to help them overcome challenges they face, and free up time and resources to focus on their mission and customers,” said Todd Heimes, director of Amazon Business Worldwide, in a statement. “I am particularly passionate about our Small Business Grants. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and when they succeed, we all succeed.”