Measuring the Impact of Small Business Grants

Hello Alice analyzed more than a year of grant programs to see how they’ve helped small business owners.

Sep 23, 2021 · 2 min read
Nate Adler is the owner of Gertie, an all-day restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Adler was named a recipient of the DoorDash Local Restaurant Grants program.

Titled “The Impact of Small Business Grant Funding,” Hello Alice’s latest research dives into more than a year of application data to measure the effect of grant funding on small business health.

As of June 2021, Hello Alice had received 188,351 applications for funding and distributed $18.5 million to thousands of small business owners. Our grant applicants have, overwhelmingly, been representative of the New Majority of small business owners — with nearly two-thirds identifying as female or gender nonconforming and just over half identifying as a person of color. These applications are blinded of all demographic and social characteristics to avoid bias in the review stage. As a result, Hello Alice grant recipients directly mirror the diverse applicant pool.

Through a combination of survey data and narrative responses, these applications offer a detailed profile of who small business owners are and what they need. Key takeaways from this report include:

  • 96% of recipients report grants as “very or extremely helpful.” We found no significant difference in this response between demographic groups. This means that business owners of all identities and experiences find grants helpful in supporting their business.
  • Business continues to go digital. New Majority small business owners report they expect to conduct over half their business online, and interest in topics such as online marketing, connectivity, online payments, and logistics has increased significantly over the past year.
  • Owners need ongoing support. While not every business owner will receive a grant, everyone who applies receives immediate access to free Hello Alice resources. These 188K applicants went on to view millions of pages on Hello Alice, engage with thousands of interactive business guides, and find mentorship in 22 virtual communities.
  • Technology enables responsive and impactful grant programs. We have been able to partner with companies like DoorDash, eBay, and PepsiCo to help them devise, market, and administer grant programs with minimal lead time.

Download the full Hello Alice Impact Report

If your company or organization is interested in supporting this important work or gaining insights about your community of business owners, please reach out to [email protected]

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