Late last month, The Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) announced that grant applications for its popular Woman-Owned Business Accelerator (WOBA) program will open on September 15.
 
In its fourth year, the DLBA grant program enables up to five women-owned businesses to share $10,000 of funding provided by Long Beach-based Farmers & Merchants Bank (F&M). Grant winners receive technical assistance and coaching from the Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at California State University, Long Beach. For the second consecutive year, DTLB-based Fuller Management Corporation will also offer full-service, customized, comprehensive business development and coaching to program participants.

 
“DLBA is excited to once again work with our long-time program partners to invest and grow women-owned businesses in Downtown Long Beach,” said Austin Metoyer, DLBA economic and development policy manager. “We encourage all Downtown businesses that are majority-owned by women, including those in the start-up phase, to apply for the WOBA grant program. Especially during this recovery period, it’s a great opportunity for smaller companies to access funding and support.”

 
The WOBA program application details can be found on the DLBA website (downtownlongbeach.org). The main grant criteria include:
• Located within the DLBA’s Downtown Business & Parking Improvement Area (DPBIA)
• Active DTLB business license or willingness to relocate within DPBIA boundaries
• For-profit or non-profit business
• Fewer than 24 employees

“The objective is to provide both a direct economic boost and valuable coaching and technical support to women entrepreneurs that leads to growth and stability,” said Dr. Wade Martin, director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at California State University, Long Beach. “It is important to tailor support to the specific needs of each business or entrepreneur. The support is not only the financial award, but also the mentoring and coaching needed to leverage the monetary award most effectively. 


The Institute is proud to partner with DLBA to support the businesses and owners.”
The deadline to submit an application is October 6 and the grants are expected to be awarded in November.

 
“Farmers & Merchants Bank supports the entrepreneurs of Downtown Long Beach and recognizes the importance of continuing to invest in women-owned businesses, which is an investment in our future,” said F&M Bank president Henry Walker. “We are pleased to continue our ongoing partnership with DLBA and its partners though this grant program as well as other initiatives to stimulate our Downtown economy.”

 
Last year’s WOBA grant winners included Orsa Modica, Modica’s Deli, Maggie Stoll, sole proprietor of clothing and gift shop Burke Mercantile, and co-owners Crystal Early and Natalie Mumford of the fashion shop 3 Women. 


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