Marion launches new small business grant

The City of Marion is launching a Business Innovation & Support Grant specifically for small businesses in the community who have navigated the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a news release, the grant is designed to provide financial relief on a matching basis for innovation, expansion, and growth to Marion businesses. The funding comes from Marion’s allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funding.

Approximately $450,000 is designated through the Marion program for local small business support, according to the release.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy,” said Uptown Marion Main Street Director Brooke Prouty, in the release. “The events of 2020 and the continual effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have either delayed plans for businesses or created daily operational hurdles. We are pleased to partner with the City and support local businesses in this way.”

The Business Innovation & Support Grant is designed for small businesses with one to 10 employees. The grant provides funding ranging from $5,500 to $15,500. Each award comes with up to five hours of mandatory business counseling by a pre-approved business coach.

$500 will be reserved from each cash award for the coaching fee, according to the release.

“Our small business entrepreneurs were significantly impacted by the pandemic,” said City Manager Ryan Waller, in the release. “This program aims to not only help them recuperate some of their losses but also encourages them to use this as a catalyst to take their business to the next level.”

Businesses must be located in Marion, Iowa and priority will be given to small businesses in the retail, food service, arts and entertainment, hospitality and service, fitness, personal service, and transportation sectors.

Applications will be accepted until the funds have been exhausted. Learn more at