Applications are available now for grants and technical assistance to help start and/or stabilize women-owned businesses in Long Beach.

The program, Woman-Owned Business Accelerator (WOBA), is the creation of the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA). Partners are Farmers & Merchants Bank and the Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Cal State Long Beach.

Up to five business owners will share $10,000 in grant money and coaching from DLBA and Cal State Long Beach business experts. To qualify, a business must employ fewer than 24 people, have access to finances to match the grant amount, be located in downtown Long Beach and be a for-profit business.

Deadline to apply is Thursday, Oct. 15, and finalists will be notified on Oct. 26. Finalists will present their business model for final selection on Nov. 11.

For more information and to apply, go to

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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