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BLOOM Small Business Grant PROGRAM

The BLOOM Small Business Grant Program was originally created in 2018 by a group of summer interns to offer a unique funding opportunity to small businesses. These small business grants are funding made simple to help businesses create something that otherwise may not have been!

Previous grant rounds have been held with a focus on businesses located in Downtown York, Downtown Hanover, and Trail Town Communities as well as businesses owned by women, graduates of our small business development program, and businesses who are YCEA members. Check out our upcoming grant cycles below.


Businesses Based in Boroughs

Application Opens: Friday, May 19
Info Session: Tuesday, May 23
Application Closes: Friday, June 9
Pitch Session: Tuesday, June 20


City of York

Application Opens: Wednesday, September 20th
Info Session: Monday, September 25th,
View Info Session Recording
Application Closes: Friday, October 13th


Women-owned Small Business

Application Opens: Thursday, November 16 at 8am
Virtual Info Session: Monday, November 20 at 5:30pm
Register for Virtual Info Session Webinar
Application Closes: Friday, December 1 at 8pm
In-Person Pitch Session: Tuesday, December 12 at 12pm



The 2023 BLOOM Grant Program for Women-owned Businesses in York County will award grants from $500 to $1,500 to small businesses owned and operated by women in the County of York for projects that will help them improve productivity, expand their services, or grow to the next level. Grant amounts will be considered based on need and potential impact.

Grant Amounts

Grant amounts will be considered based on need and potential impact. Grant amounts will range from $500 to $1,500.

Grant Criteria
  • New Tangible improvements such as:
    • Exterior façade or interior renovations
    • Curb appeal/placemaking enhancements
    • Lighting improvements; safety upgrades both interior and exterior /
  • Equipment such as improved commercial kitchen equipment, merchandising and display fixtures, point of sale technology upgrades to improve speed and customer experience.
  • Space expansions/renovations
  • Other material improvements to the business that would expand growth, business services, and business opportunity and/or make a positive impact on
  • the overall local business environment.
  • Business upgrades and adjustments related to COVID-19 recovery.
  • Adding or expanding outdoor seating or outdoor retail space
  • Expenses related to marketing or advertising
BLOOM Grant funds cannot be used for:
  • Owner compensation
  • Payroll or payroll taxes
  • Mortgage/lease or property tax payments
  • Utilities, other recurring operating expenses
  • Day to day operating supplies—other than personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Credit card or other debt payment
Priority consideration will be given to:
  • While we encourage past BLOOM recipients to apply again for new initiatives, priority shall be given to those who have not received prior BLOOM grants.
  • Businesses owned by Veterans
  • Businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color
  • Businesses owned by Women
  • Preference will be given to companies that use local businesses to fulfill the grant implementation, where applicable.
Paperwork Required
  • Itemized Budget to support grant request
  • A Profit and Loss Statement for the Business from January 1, 2023 to October 31, 2023.
  • Full 2022 Business Tax Return, unless business began revenue generating operations after January 1, 2023. If the business is a sole-proprietorship, a full business owner personal tax return will need to be submitted.
  • Completed and signed W-9 (available here)
  • Once your application is received we will contact you to ask for a voided check from the Business Bank Account.
BLOOM Grant Pitch Competition at December WBCO Luncheon

Finalists will be required to participate in the in-person pitch competition at the WBCO December Luncheon on December 12 from 11:30am-12:00pm. Finalists will have 30 seconds to present a prepared pitch regarding their business and proposed project.


Businesses for this BLOOM Grant must have 51% or more women ownership and must have revenue generated as of May 31, 2023. Please review full eligibility and required documents before submitting your application.


Examples of projects funded through other BLOOM grant funds have included: improving signage, physical improvements to business location, marketing, training & certification for new services, or purchase of new equipment.


Applicants cannot have more than 50 full or part-time employees.


Applicants must match 10% of the grant’s capital value to show commitment to the project being funded.


Grant recipients must use the allocated funds within 6 months on the approved expense.


Applicants cannot be an employee or board member of YCEA, Downtown Inc, WBCO, or an affiliate board; cannot be a family member of an employee or board member


Applicants cannot be an elected or appointed official.


While we encourage past BLOOM recipients to apply again for new initiatives, priority shall be given to those who have not received prior BLOOM grants.


Only for-profit businesses are eligible. Non-profits are not eligible

Additional items to note
*The BLOOM Business Empowerment Center reserves the right to ask applicants for additional documentation for clarification purposes.
* The BLOOM Business Empowerment Center reserves the right to make the decision to partially fund applicants.