Sustaining businesses
in Philadelphia since 1854.

Business Stabilization Grant

Operating Business Stabilization Grant
Application Deadline: Friday, 27 February 2015


The Merchants Fund is committed to providing for the economic needs of the merchant community with modest grants. Merchants must be located in Philadelphia for a minimum of three years.

Business Stabilization grants of up to $10,000 are available to help small businesses remain stable and viable in the face of economic challenges, changes and crisis. The application process is competitive.  There is no guarantee of an award.  We recommend that merchants explore other funding sources simultaneously to the grant application process.

The Merchants Fund does not support:

  • New ventures
  • Home businesses moving to commercial real estate and the related expenses 
  • Businesses holding only an off premises liquor license
  • Excluded businesses: lawyers, doctors, accountants, brokers (insurance, real estate, stock), consultants, and other professionals.  Please call if you are unsure whether your business is qualified to be considered for a grant.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for the Business Stabilization Grant, you must:

  1. Be a US Citizen (including naturalized citizens) or resident alien.
  2. Operate in Philadelphia.
  3. Have been in business no less than 3 years.
  4. Be a Sole Proprietor or the majority owner and an active employee of an incorporated business.
  5. Depend upon the business as a primary source of income.


If you meet all of the qualifications, please complete and submit the application form (PDF) by the deadline. Fill in all the blanks and answer all questions. If a question does not apply to you, answer �not applicable.� Provide three references including phone numbers.

Successful applicants for grants from The Merchants Fund demonstrated some or all of the following qualities:

  • strong ties to the community
  • a partnership with a sponsoring agency such as a community development corporation (CDC) assisting the merchant before and after the grant process
  • a clear plan for the use of the grant with details about short term and long term goals for stabilization, improvement and growth i.e. solutions to problems or concrete plans for the business
  • the capacity to generate increased revenue or other new business opportunities as a result of the grant
  • improvements made to the merchant’s business are also good for the surrounding community, corridor, or are part of a plan for the neighborhood
  • realistic budgets or good estimates of the cost of projects, capital improvements, equipment purchases, etc. which equal the grant amount requested including loans or personal funds or contributions from state, city and agency funds
  • in the case of façade improvements there should be an understanding of esthetic conventions such as attractive signage, neighborhood color schemes, involvement of a designer or other professional, visual marketing, see-through secruity grates, respect for existing architectural detail, etc.

Application Process

Your application will be reviewed by a member of The Merchants Fund staff. He or she may make a site visit to your place of business. You may also be asked additional questions about your business and or your grant request. If your application passes preliminary review you will be required to submit supporting business and financial documentation outlined below and other documents as specified.

If your application passes preliminary review, it will be reviewed by the Program Committee of The Merchants Fund Board of Managers. The Program Committee will determine if you will receive a grant or business loan match. There is no guarantee of funding.

You will be notified in writing of the Program Committee's decision.


Provide required business documents:

  • Copies of current business licenses
  • Current business plan, if available

Provide required financial documents. Proof of income and expenses are:

  • 3 years of state income tax returns
  • 3 years of Philadelphia city income tax returns (if applicable)
  • 3 years of federal income tax returns
  • Current profit and loss statement

**Sign your application**