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Regional Business Council invites applications for ‘Small Change – Big Impact Grants’

From Illinois Business Journal news services

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Regional Business Council is accepting applications for the “It’s Our Region Fund’s Small Change – Big Impact Grants,” a philanthropic initiative that reflects the council’s commitment to improving the quality of life in the Greater St. Louis region.

“This fund makes a critical difference to dozens of worthy organizations who have capital needs that are difficult for them to address. It is a privilege to be a part of making a significant difference in our community,” said Kathy Osborn, executive director of the Regional Business Council.

Applications will be accepted until June 19. The Small Change-Big Impact grants support one-time capital improvement projects in the $1,000 to $10,000 range for non-profits, community agencies and municipalities.

The grants have had big impact.

“The RBC was our very first grantor, providing funds in 2012 to help catapult us from project concept to reality,” said Mary Ostafi, executive director and founding farmer of Urban Harvest STL, a food roof garden in downtown St. Louis.

“The RBC was willing to take a chance on a small community project. They were very patient because, as a start-up nonprofit, there are so many challenges without having anything to show or prove. They believed in us and gave us the confidence to go forward. Now, we are under construction and will have seeds in the ground for this summer.”

Interested groups and municipalities must submit an application describing the desired capital project and the anticipated budget. Applications are encouraged from all 16 metropolitan counties. To review the It’s Our Region Fund guidelines and complete an application, visit

The RBC plans to award $100,000 in grants, depending upon the breadth, quality and diversity of the project requests. Winning recipients will be announced this fall.

About the Regional Business Council
Founded in 2000, the RBC is a consortium of presidents and CEOs from 100 of the region’s largest companies. The RBC collectively represents 1.1 million total employees and $200 billion in 2010 revenues companywide; and 120,000 total employees in the St. Louis region with $63 billion in 2010 revenues in the St. Louis region. RBC member companies employ 16 percent of the regional workforce. The mission of the RBC is to act on high-impact business, civic and philanthropic initiatives for the betterment of the 16-county St. Louis region.

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