View original article here.

Small business owners can potentially pick up emergency relief grants between $5,000 to $20,000 from home improvement giant Lowe’s. But those seeking the money need to act fast: Applications will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. ET Aug. 3.

All told, Lowe’s is giving away $55 million in grants to small businesses toiling with COVID-19.

More than half of the funding—$30 million—will be distributed as minority small business grants. The extra $25 million will focus on rural communities bashed by the pandemic. The commitment to minority businesses is $5 million more than what was allotted to those firms before. Lowe’s is making the grants available via a nonprofit called the Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

“Having grown up in a small town, I have first-hand knowledge of the extraordinary challenges small business owners in rural communities across the country face during the pandemic,” said Lowe’s president and CEO Marvin Ellison about the significance of the commitment in a statement. “We also remain committed to supporting minority small businesses that are being disproportionately impacted.”

He added, “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. Together, we can make a meaningful difference, especially for those in historically disinvested communities and areas hit hardest by COVID-19.”

Some 7.5 million small businesses may be at risk of closing permanently, according to a survey published by Main Street America. The struggle is perhaps tougher for small businesses in rural communities that often face more hurdles such as limited access to bank credit, capital, and other support services.

Some 41% of Black-owned businesses already had closures due to COVID-19 as of May 2020, according to data from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Visit here to get more details about the grants.