< View all news

American Express and Main Street America Announce “Services that Back Us” Grant Recipients

April 28, 2022

Supporting the growth of small business is at the forefront of American Express’ community backing. As part of the “Services that Back Us” Grant Program, in partnership with Main Street America, 75 U.S. small businesses in the personal service industry each received a $5,000 grant to help them grow and serve the daily lives of their customers and communities as they navigate through pandemic recovery.

According to a recent Small Business Recovery Report* by Kabbage from American Express, small businesses are seeing steady growth in average monthly revenues after two years of navigating pandemic challenges. However, small businesses are still adapting to other factors, including rising costs of supplies.

Here a few recipients share their plans for how they will use the grant to help grow and improve their small businesses:

First and foremost for Meka Mathis, owner of Washington, D.C.-based Skin Beauty Bar, is new signage to attract more attention. “I plan to get a super, super big sign – with the budget for it made possible through the grant program American Express and Main Street America are  providing!” 

Jaime Romero, owner of Chicago-based barbershop VipCutz, has a similar thought. He might invest in camera equipment to create a stronger social media presence to engage with customers. “This grant is definitely going to help us go a long way,” he added.

Jamell McDowell, owner of Atlanta-based Purple Door Salon, is going to do some repairs, as she’s also the property owner. Bridgett Harrison, owner of Dallas-based Fad Kraze Hair Lounge, and Felicia Stokes, owner of New Jersey-based Luxurious Wellniss, say the grant is an opportunity to build their brands and make improvements to operations.

For Gilbert Pickett, owner of San Francisco-based hair salon, Salon Mio Mio, the grant will help his LGBTQIA+-owned business to make upgrades to make customers feel welcome – and do some advertising to attract candidates to fill open stylist roles.

Scott Doney, cobbler and owner of Tennessee-based James Shoe Hospital, said that for his business, he is focused on elevating his storefront for the community; he’d like them to see the magic that happens inside. “I love the back of the shop where the equipment is. All the equipment is from like 1930s, ‘40s, ‘50s – all old – and I like that it looks like that. I want it all to look like that because the front is very plain.”

To see the inside of James Shoe Hospital and learn more about these recipients and their businesses, watch the video below. For the full list of program receipents on the Main Street America website, click here: 75 Small Business Grants


*Methodology: The online survey was conducted between February 5-16, 2022, surveying 563 small business leaders, including 255 at the smallest small businesses (<20 employees), 205 at medium-small businesses (21-100 employees), and 103 at the largest small business (101-500 employees). Respondents represented industries across retail, marketing, healthcare, financial services, technology, food and beverage, construction, automotive, manufacturing, media, professional services, education, agriculture and more. The margin of error for the full sample is +/- 4 percentage points.

Multimedia Files:

< View all news