Rock Solid Grant Program
Winter 2021/2022 Applications Now Accepted
Deadline November 22, 2021 at 5:00 pm
The Rock Solid Fund, administered by the Nantucket Island Center for Entrepreneurship (NICE), provides grants to Nantucket-based small businesses to ensure their contribution toward a strong island economy. Ideally, applicants will use funds to execute an innovative project to ensure the growth and economic stability of their own business while creating a positive role model for others in the entrepreneurial community.
For the Winter 2021/2022 round of the grant program over $95,000 is available in potential funding. There is a common application and criteria for the overall program, with two separate sources of funding used for specific types of grants (see below).
General Eligibility and Judging Criteria
General Qualification Criteria
- Current or new businesses should be for-profit entities with primary operations on Nantucket.
- The business should demonstrate the need for funding. Note that businesses that have received Rock Solid or Tap Into Technology grants are still eligible to apply as long as funds will be used for a new project.
- The business must submit a reasonably detailed plan, including rough budget and timeline, for spending the money by March 31, 2022.
- There is no limit to the amount a business may request; however, we expect grants to average between $2,500 - $7,500.
- Need - Other funds are not readily available for the proposed project.
- Achievability - Realistic timeline, budget, and sufficient funding to achieve desired outcomes.
- Impact - The project will have a meaningful, positive and measurable impact on the business.
Application Process and Timeline
There is one common application for the Rock Solid Grant. The Review Committee will assign each application to one or both sources of funds for consideration based on the proposed business/project.
- Monday, November 8: Application process opens.
- Monday, November 22: Grant applications are due by 5:00 p.m.
- Friday, December 17: Applicants will be notified if they are receiving an award.
How Can the Grant Funding Be Used
For the Winter 2021/2022 round of the Rock Solid Fund, there are two sources of funding, each with their own set of criteria for how the funds may be used. There is one common application - applicants are not required to select a source of funding. Rather, the Review Committee will assign applications to one or both programs depending on the scope of the proposed project.
Projects that are not appropriate for the Rock Solid Fund include purchasing advertising or standard marketing services; paying for standard operating costs; paying for major capital improvements; purchasing real estate; or to pay existing debt.
Town of Nantucket Grants
To be eligible for this grant, the business must have been operating on Nantucket for at least two years as of January 1, 2022, must be in good standing with the Town, and profitable prior to Covid. Grants must be used to help the business continue financial recovery from the pandemic, and/or to execute an innovative approach to growing the business. Examples of projects that would be appropriate for this program include:
- Upgrading point of purchase or inventory management technology/systems
- Establishment of new points of sale such as e-commerce, off premise delivery, or via new partnerships.
- Purchase of equipment that will ensure staff and customers remain safe.
- Purchase of equipment that will enable more efficient manufacturing/production a product.
ReMain Ventures Funded Grants
To be eligible for this grant, the applicant must meet at least one of the following criteria:
1) Be an entrepreneur seeking to establish a new business that is minority owned or promotes diversity. Grants must be used to support critical start-up operational needs (legal, accounting, technical, manufacturing).
2) Be an existing business operating on Nantucket for at least two years as of January 1, 2022 with demonstrated profitability. Grants must be used for new technology to grow revenue/profitability; as tuition assistance for professional development and training; or for travel and participation fees for events that will raise visibility for the business beyond Nantucket.
3) Be a new or existing business focused on products/services that protect the island environment and encourage sustainable practices by residents and business owners.
Rock Solid grant funds will not be awarded to the grant recipient until an approved project plan, expense reimbursement form and supporting purchase orders or receipts are submitted. Funds are not distributed in advance. Unused grant funds will be retained by the Rock Solid Fund and used for future rounds.
Please address all questions to Grant@NantucketChamber.org