Background

The Keeping It Cool Grant Program will provide $400,000 in grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 to support cold storage infrastructure and equipment needs of food businesses and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations providing food-related goods and services in the Washington, DC region. Eligible locations include Arlington, VA; Alexandria, VA; Fairfax County, VA; Montgomery County, MD; Prince George's County, MD; and Washington, DC. In addition to providing funding for cold storage infrastructure and equipment, grantees will receive technical assistance (TA) that will support the cold storage grant request. TA may be provided in the form of group workshops and/or one-on-one consulting services.

The primary uses of this grant include investments in cold storage equipment, refrigeration infrastructure, and innovative cooling solutions.

Funding for this grant has been generously provided by The Morningstar Foundation. The Keeping It Cool Grant Program is also affiliated with the Nourish DC Collaborative, which partners with the Government of the District of Columbia to provide technical assistance, loans, and grants to support locally-owned DC food businesses. Capital Impact Partners, a Community Development Financial Institution headquartered in the DMV and fund manager of the Nourish DC Collaborative, will administer this grant program.

Timeline

  • Application opens March 1, 2023
  • Application closes on March 31, 2023 at 11:59 PM EST
  • Informational Webinar 1, XX, 2023, XX-XX PM EST {put in registration link}
  • Informational Webinar 2, XX, 2023, XX - XX PM EST {put in registration link}
  • Virtual Office Hours, XX, 2023, XX - XX PM EST {put in link to sign-up}
  • Virtual Office Hours, XX, 2023, XX - XX PM EST [put in link to sign-up]
  • Applicants will be notified by XX, 2023 if they will move on to the next stage of the grant selection process
  • Awardees will receive funding by the second quarter of 2023

Eligibility

To be eligible for this grant, a for-profit business or non-profit business must:

  • Grow, process, distribute, or sell food products
  • Have a physical location in Arlington, VA; Alexandria, VA; Fairfax County; Montgomery County, MD; Prince George's County, MD; or Washington, DC
  • Be a registered business or have 501(c)(3) non-profit status for six months or more
  • For-profit businesses: Have generated $25,000 or more of gross revenue from sales from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022
  • Non-profit organizations: Have a budget of $75,000 or more from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022
  • Grant funds must be used to support an enterprise's food-related cold storage needs

Eligible uses of grant funds include, but are not limited to:

  • Increased or updated refrigeration or freezer space
  • Increased or updated refrigerated display cases
  • Cold storage-related technology such as monitoring equipment
  • Refrigerated vehicles
  • Real estate acquisition related to cold storage
  • Physical or electrical infrastructure to support cold storage upgrades
  • Expert cold storage design or engineering consultation
  • Payroll (must be less than 25% of grant request, related to the cold storage grant request, with a sustainable source of funding to continue the employment when grant funds are expended)
  • Marketing (must be less than 5% of grant request and related to the cold storage grant request)

Assistance for Spanish-speaking Applicants

If a Spanish-speaking applicant would like assistance in completing the grant application, please contact Alison Powers, Director, Economic Opportunities, Capital Impact Partners, apowers@capitalimpact.org, (703) 647-2369.

Final Grant Review Process

All grant applications will be evaluated by a committee of five to seven reviewers. The top applicants will be asked to provide additional documentation to the review committee, and a final determination of awardees and grant amounts will be announced by XX, 2023.

If an enterprise moves to the final phase of the grant review process, the applicant must provide the following documentation within 21 days of notification.

For-profit business required documentation, if selected for final phase of the grant review process:

  • Business W-9 dated within the last 12 months
  • Articles of Incorporation, Articles of Organization, or similar formation documentation appropriate to entity type
  • Bylaws, Operating Agreement, or similar formation documentation appropriate to entity type
  • Financial statements including 2021 Federal Tax Return and 2022 Income Statement
  • Certificate of Good Standing, or equivalent document, from the registering entity, which could include a Certificate of Status in MD or a Certificate of Fact of Existence of Registration for LLCs in VA
  • Certificate of Insurance

Non-profit organization required documentation, if selected for the final phase of the grant review process:

  • Business W-9 dated within the last 12 months
  • Articles of Incorporation, Articles of Organization, or similar formation documentation appropriate to entity type
  • Bylaws, Operating Agreement, or similar formation documentation appropriate to entity type
  • Financial statements including 2021 Federal Tax Return and 2022 Income Statement
  • 501(c)(3) Determination Letter
  • List of Current Funders
  • List of Board of Directors
  • Certificate of Insurance

Questions

Please contact Alison Powers, Director, Economic Opportunities, Capital Impact Partners, apowers@capitalimpact.org, (703) 647-2369.

Capital Impact Partners