Spark Eligibility

Qualifications to Apply for the Spark Small Business Grant

If you’re interested in applying for the Spark small business grant, you can check your eligibility with the criteria below:

  • Applicant currently owns OR will own a majority stake (51%) or more in the named company
  • If brokerage is already operating, it opened after November 1, 2021
  • Applicant has prior experience in the retail mortgage channel
  • Not currently working in the wholesale mortgage channel at the time of application review
  • Will provide a thoughtful business plan that addresses all aspects of opening and owning a brokerage 
  • Will provide a comprehensive profit and loss statement identifying where the Spark grant funds would be essential or beneficial to opening or expanding their brokerage 
  • Applicant identifies as a member of a disadvantaged* group OR is a military veteran or spouse of a service member

*”Disadvantaged” is defined as a member of a group of persons AIME Spark “Program” considers as disadvantaged. The Program presumes certain groups are disadvantaged, including women, LGBTQ, Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asian-Pacific Americans, or other minorities found to be disadvantaged. Persons who are not members of one of the above groups and own and control their business may also be eligible if they establish their “social” and “economic” disadvantage. The Program notes, for example, that people with disabilities have disproportionately low incomes and high rates of unemployment, and that many may be socially and economically disadvantaged. A determination of whether an individual with a disability meets disadvantage eligibility criteria is made on a case-by-case basis.

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Due to the high volume of applications, grant recipients will be announced by 3/1/2023.