Published on May 08, 2023

HARTFORD, CONN (May 8, 2023) – Today, the City of Hartford announced a new $500,000 Microenterprise Microgrant Program, which will provide businesses that have five or fewer employees with up to $2,500 in funding.  Currently-operating microenterprises with five or fewer employees (including the owner), as well as Hartford entrepreneurs seeking to develop a microenterprise, are eligible for this grant funding.  Eligible applicants must also have a physical address in the City of Hartford and must either have an existing business plan or develop a business plan as a result of the program. 

The Microenterprise Microgrant Program is just one of several small business recovery and development initiatives created by the City in the last two years, including the Hart Lift program to help property owners and brick-and-mortar retail businesses fill vacant storefronts in Hartford, the Small Business Façade Improvement Program which helps property owners improve and beautify the exterior of their storefronts to help attract customers and encourage additional neighborhood economic investment, and the Small Business Investment Fund that helps create and retain job opportunities in downtown and neighborhood businesses.

"In the wake of the pandemic, our Small Business and Community Development Division has worked tirelessly to support the growth and success of more Hartford small businesses," said Mayor Bronin.  "That doesn’t just mean our brick-and-mortar shops – it also means supporting Hartford entrepreneurs working out of their kitchens, garages, pop-up stands, food trucks, or online.  With this program, we want to make sure those microenterprises get a shot to take their businesses to the next level and grow here in Hartford.  We know that not all of these businesses will succeed, but we also know that our City as a whole is stronger when those who have the courage and creativity to build a business in our community get some support to do it right.”

Grant money must be used to promote the establishment, stabilization, and expansion of microenterprises.  Grants may be used to reimburse the following expenses: payroll, rent/mortgage, inventory and supplies, exterior signage and customization, equipment purchase, business support services such as bookkeeping and business plan development, and other support services such as transportation, counseling, and childcare.

A pre-application form is now live at www.hartfordct.gov/smallbiz.  Applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis.  The program is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and through the U.S. Department of Treasury’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.