Route 66
Extraordinary Women
Micro-Grant Program

About the 2024 Program

The Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant program is part of the Road Ahead Partnership’s efforts to celebrate the upcoming Route 66 Centennial by helping the millions of people who live, work, and travel the Mother Road.  Through private fund-raising efforts and a major gift from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preserve Route 66 Initiative, the Road Ahead Partnership will award up to $60,000 via the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant program.
Goals of the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant program include:

  • Keeping women owned or operated Route 66 businesses and attractions in operation.
  • Helping women owned or operated Route 66 businesses and attractions reopen.
  • Preserving, restoring, and/or expanding women owned or operated Route 66 businesses and attractions, per Secretary of the Interior Standards :Learn More
  • Helping open new, women owned or operated Route 66 businesses and attractions.

For additional information regarding the grant program’s timeline, eligibility requirements, review criteria, etc. access the Program Guidelines below.

Participation steps

Click on the steps below to learn more, prepare your submission and submit your online grant application form.

Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Program Purpose & Guidelines

Purpose

The Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant program seeks to support businesses and attractions owned or operated by a woman or a group of women, that are located along Route 66.

Background

The Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant program is part of the Road Ahead Partnership’s efforts to celebrate the upcoming Route 66 Centennial by helping the millions of people who live, work, and travel the Mother Road.  Through private fund-raising efforts, including a major gift from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preserve Route 66 Initiative, the Road Ahead Partnership will award up to $60,000 via the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant program. 

Goals

Goals of the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant program include:

  • Keeping women owned or operated Route 66 businesses and attractions in operation.
  • Helping women owned or operated Route 66 businesses and attractions reopen.
  • Preserving, restoring, and/or expanding women owned or operated Route 66 businesses and attractions, per Secretary of the Interior Standards.Learn More
  • Helping open new, women owned or operated Route 66 businesses and attractions.

Awards

Three rounds of the program will be conducted, with the first in 2023 and two in 2024. Maximum grant awards will be $2,000.00, with up to 10 grant awards made per each round of the program.

Application Eligibility and Non-Eligibility

Examples of eligible activities for which grant awards can be sought, include:

  • Are wholly or majority (at least 51%) women-owned or women-operated.
  • Are physically located on a Route 66 alignment (i.e., a “brick-and-mortar” location) and/or operate in a Route 66 neighborhood or community.
  • Employ fewer than 20 full-time employees (including the company owners).
  • Are a registered business entity in good standing in the state where they were formed and the state in which they do business.
  • Independently travel the road, serving other businesses/attractions along Route 66, including, for example: small tour operators, suppliers with Route 66 as their sales region, etc.
  • Small, locally owned franchises with 5 or less locations.

Businesses and attractionsthat are not eligibleto apply include those that are:

  • Digital-only businesses (digital includes, without limitation, online and application-based businesses or attractions).
  • Part of a large national franchise (i.e. 6 or more locations and/or a chain that serves areas primarily outside of the Route 66 corridor).

Eligible Activities

Businesses and attractions that are eligible to apply include those that:

Business/Organization Improvement/Sustainability

  • Purchase of equipment or furnishings.
  • Materials and services such as printing, photographs, telephone, and supplies.
  • For non-profit organizations, organizational capacity building activities such as hiring fundraising consultants, conducting board training, etc.
  • Development of promotional materials (either physical or virtual).
  • Updates to websites for better operations and communications.
  • Mailing costs for distribution of materials or merchandise.

Historic Preservation Planning/Work

  • Fees for consultant services (such as architect, preservation architect, contractor, consultant to produce a business plan or marketing plan, web or app designer, landscaper or landscape architect, etc.)
  • Building, construction, repair, or maintenance activities (work needs to meet preservation standards and/or maintain the historic integrity of the building).
  • Public-facing improvements to the business or attraction, including, but not limited to: murals, awnings, lighting, signage upgrades, painting or cleaning of interior or exterior, creation of indoor or outdoor seating areas, etc.

Telling the Story

  • Acquisition of objects designed for public display, and that relate to the history/heritage of the property.
  • Fees for speakers or trainings.
  • Partnering with local artists for a community event or mural .
  • General support for community meetings and gatherings, such as sponsoring a community gathering or community educational event to celebrate a historical or cultural moment that is meaningful to the neighborhood. Can include costs for catering, food & beverage, entertainment at these gatherings or meetings.

Accessibility/Community Outreach

  • Enhancing a building or space to align it with ADA accessibility standards.
  • Language translation of menus, websites, or other materials to be more inclusive and accessible to diverse local customers and audiences.

Sustainability

  • Innovations to improve sustainability of a building or attraction, such as reducing energy consumption or food waste.

Program Timeline

The 2024 Round of the Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Program will follow this timeline:

  • Grant Program announcement July 5, 2024.
  • Grant Application must be received via online application by midnight [in the applicant’s time zone] on August 26, 2024.
  • Grant Awards will be announced the week of September 16, 2024.
  • Final Reports are due within 90 days of completion of a project.

Grant Application Review Criteria

Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Projects will be reviewed based on how they:

  • Help a woman owned or operated Route 66 business or attraction remain in operation.
  • Help a woman owned or operated Route 66 business or attraction reopen.
  • Preserve, restore, and/or expand a woman owned or operated Route 66 business or attraction, per Secretary of the Interior Standards or maintenance of a building’s historic integrity.
  • Help open new, woman owned or operated Route 66 business or attraction.

Grant Application Review Preferences

When grant award decision are made, preference will be given to businesses or attractions that:

  • Are small, independently owned, and/or located in an historic or older building or neighborhood in a Route 66 town.
  • Contribute to the history and/or identity of the surrounding community or neighborhood and/or Route 66.
  • Have a compelling or inspiring inclusive historic narrative or cultural significance.
  • Have been disproportionately impacted by economic challenges, disasters, or other hardships.
  • Did not receive a grant through the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Initiative program within the last 12 months.
  • Include a 50% or more funding match for the project, contributed by the business or attraction.
  • Businesses and attractions located directly on a Route 66 alignment .

Other Guidelines

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) status must provide their IRS letter of determination.
  • The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion [creed], gender, gender expression, age, national origin [ancestry], disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status in any of its activities or operations. Decisions regarding grant awards are based on guidelines that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Only fully completed grant applications, received on time per program deadlines, will be processed and reviewed for consideration of a grant award.
  • All grant application materials submitted become the property of the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Program. Grant applications will not be returned.
  • The Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Review Committee may request additional information to assist in its evaluation of an application.
  • The Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Review Committee reserves the right to increase or decrease grant awards made per each grant program round, based on the number and quality of eligible grant applications received.
  • The Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Review Committee reserves the right to reject any and all applications, in whole or in part, at any time and from time to time, in its sole discretion.
  • Grantees are responsible for the proper expenditure of funds and for maintaining supporting documents that provide full and complete disclosure of the use of grant funds, should such records be requested with a project’s Final Report.
  • There is no guarantee that any business or attraction will receive funding. Applicants who submit qualified applications, but do not receive funding - due to insufficient funding or lower review scores compared to other applications – may submit applications to future rounds of the Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Program.
  • Grant funds awarded cannot be used in support of any political campaign, election activities, or other political activity.
  • In most instances, grant funds to individuals are counted as taxable income on the recipient’s federal tax return. Please contact your accountant if you have questions.
  • If there are significant changes to a business or attraction’s structure or personnel during the grant period, the grant applicant shall notify the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Program of the change in writing.
  • Privacy: Information provided through the application process is the responsibility of each applicant. Applications submitted to Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Program will remain confidential to the general public and any fellow applicants. Applicants will not hold the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership’s officers, employees, and/or agents liable for any losses, damages, costs, or expenses of any kind relating to the use or the adequacy, accuracy, or completeness of any information submitted via the application process.
  • Conflict of Interest: Current directors, officers, employees and contractors of the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership, EW Micro-Grant Review Committee, and such individuals' family members (spouse, parents, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and spouses of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren) are not eligible to receive an award.
  • Publicity: If awarded, please be advised that the business or attraction’s application information, name, statements, and other information provided during the application process may be used for promotional purposes in all forms and media and the business or attraction may be contacted by the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership for such purposes. Applications to the Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Program entails a perpetual license to use such information without additional compensation (except where prohibited by law), and without any right to review and/or approve such content. Until notified, applicants must agree not to share any status as a grant recipient publicly, including but not limited to all social media platforms, news media, or local publications.

    What is the Purpose of the Micro-Grant Program?

    The Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant program provides critical and flexible funding to businesses and attractions that are majority women-owned or operated [51% or more] and that are located along Route 66.

    What are the Goals of the Micro-Grant Program?

    Goals of the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant program include:

    • Keeping women owned or operated Route 66 businesses and attractions in operation.
    • Helping women owned or operated Route 66 businesses and attractions reopen.
    • Preserving, restoring, and/or expanding women owned or operated Route 66 businesses and attractions, per Secretary of the Interior Standards.Learn More
    • Helping open new, women owned or operated Route 66 businesses and attractions.

    Why was the Micro-Grant Program Established?

    The Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant program is part of the Road Ahead Partnership’s efforts to celebrate the upcoming Route 66 Centennial by helping the millions of people who live, work, and travel the Mother Road.

    How Much Money will the Micro-Grant Program Award?

    Through private fund-raising efforts, along with support from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Road Ahead Partnership will award up to $60,000 via the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant program, with one program round in 2023 and two rounds in 2024.

    Do I need to Provide Any Matching Funds for my Project?

    Match funds from the property owner, applicant, or other sources are welcome, but are not required in order to apply for the grant program.

    How Long do I have to Complete a Project Funded by the Micro-grant program?

    Grantees must complete their projects within 12 months of the date they receive their funding. A final report on the project will be due within 90 days after the project is completed.

    What is the Schedule for the 2023 Micro-Grant Program?

    Three rounds of the program will be conducted with the first in 2023 and two in 2024. Maximum grant awards will be $2,000.00, with up to 10 grant awards made per each round of the program.

    When Will Decisions be Made and Grants Awarded in 2024?

    The grant schedule includes:

    • Grant Application must be received via mail, email, or online application by midnight [in the Applicant’s time zone] August 26, 2024.
    • Grant Awards will be announced the week of September 16, 2024. 

    What Businesses, Organizations, and Attractions are Eligible to Submit an Application to the Micro-Grant Program?

    Businesses and attractions that are eligible to apply include those that:

    • Are wholly or majority (at least 51%) women-owned or women-operated.
    • Are physically located on a Route 66 alignment (i.e., a “brick-and-mortar” location) and/or operate in a Route 66 neighborhood or community.
    • Employ fewer than 20 full-time employees (including the company owners).
    • Are a registered business entity in good standing in the state where they were formed and the state in which they do business.
    • Indepedently travel the road, serving other businesses/attractions along Route 66, including, for example: small tour operators, suppliers with Route 66 as their sales region, etc.

    What Businesses, Organizations, and Attractions are Not Eligible to Submit an Application to the Micro-Grant Program?

    Businesses and attractions that are not eligible to apply include those that are:

    • Digital-only businesses (digital includes, without limitation, online and application-based businesses or attractions).
    • Part of a national franchise (small locally owned franchises with less than 5 locations are eligible).

    What are Examples of Eligible Activities Businesses and Attractions Can Submit an Application to Do?

    Activities for which grant applications can be submitted include, but are not limited to:

    Business/Organization Improvement/Sustainability

    • Purchase of equipment or furnishings.
    • Materials and services such as printing, photographs, telephone, and supplies.
    • For non-profit organizations, organizational capacity building activities such as hiring fundraising consultants, conducting board training, etc.
    • Development of promotional materials (either physical or virtual).
    • Updates to websites for better operations and communications.
    • Mailing costs for distribution of materials or merchandise.

    Historic Preservation Planning/Work

    • Fees for consultant services (such as architect, preservation architect, contractor, consultant to produce a business plan or marketing plan, web or app designer, landscaper, or landscape architect, etc.)
    • Building, construction, repair, or maintenance activities (work needs to meet preservation standards and/or maintain the historic integrity of the building)
    • Public-facing improvements to the business or attraction, including, but not limited to: murals, awnings, lighting, signage upgrades, painting or cleaning of interior or exterior, creation of indoor or outdoor seating areas, etc.

    Telling the Story

    • Acquisition of objects designed for display, that relate to the history/heritage of the property.
    • Fees for speakers or trainings.
    • Partnering with local artists for a community event or mural .
    • General support for community meetings and gatherings, such as sponsoring a community gathering or community educational event to celebrate a historical or cultural moment that is meaningful to the neighborhood. Can include costs for catering, food & beverage, entertainment at these gatherings or meetings.

    Accessibility/Community Outreach

    • Enhancing a building or space to align it with ADA accessibility standards.
    • Language translation of menus, websites, or other materials to be more inclusive and accessible.

    Sustainability

    • Innovations to improve sustainability, such as reducing energy consumption or food waste.

    What Review Criteria will be Used to Evaluate Grant Application to the Micro-Grant Program?

    Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Projects will be reviewed based on how they:

    • Help a woman owned or operated Route 66 business or attraction remain in operation.
    • Help a woman owned or operated Route 66 business or attraction reopen.
    • Preserve, restore, and/or expand a woman owned or operated Route 66 business or attraction, per Secretary of the Interior Standards or maintenance of a building’s historic integrity.
    • Help open new, woman owned or operated Route 66 business or attraction.

    Will Preferences be Considered During the Review of Grant Applications to the Micro-Grant Program?

    When grant award decision are made, preference will be given to businesses or attractions that:

    • Are small, independently owned, and/or located in an historic or older building or neighborhood in a Route 66 community.
    • Contribute to the history and/or identity of the surrounding community or neighborhood and/or Route 66.
    • Have a compelling or inspiring inclusive historic narrative or cultural significance.
    • Have been disproportionately impacted by economic challenges, disasters, or other hardships.
    • Did not receive a grant through the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Initiative program within the last 12 months.
    • Include a 50% or more funding match for the project, contributed by the business or attraction.
    • Businesses and attractions located directly on a Route 66 alignment .

    How Do I Submit an Application to the Micro-Grant Program?

    Applications must be submitted online. Applications can be accessed below via Step 4 - Fill out the online Grant Application Form.

    What Guidelines Must Businesses and Attractions Follow per the Micro-Grant Program?

    • Registered not-for-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) status must provide their IRS letter of determination.
    • The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion [creed], gender, gender expression, age, national origin [ancestry], disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status in any of its activities or operations. Decisions regarding grant awards are based on guidelines that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
    • Only fully completed grant applications, received on time per program deadlines, will be processed and reviewed for consideration of a grant award.
    • All grant application materials submitted become the property of the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Program. Grant applications will not be returned.
    • The Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Review Committee may request additional information to assist in its evaluation of an application.
    • The Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Review Committee reserves the right to increase or decrease grant awards made per each grant program round, based on the number and quality of eligible grant applications received.
    • The Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Review Committee reserves the right to reject any and all applications, in whole or in part, at any time and from time to time, in its sole discretion.
    • Grantees are responsible for the proper expenditure of funds and for maintaining supporting documents that provide full and complete disclosure of the use of grant funds, should such records be requested with a project’s Final Report.
    • There is no guarantee that any business or attraction will receive funding. Applicants who submit qualified applications, but do not receive funding - due to insufficient funding or lower review scores compared to other applications – may submit applications to future rounds of the Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Program.
    • Grantees are responsible for the proper expenditure of funds and for maintaining supporting documents that provide full and complete disclosure of the use of grant funds, should such records be requested with a project’s Final Report.
    • Grant funds awarded cannot be used in support of any political campaign, election activities, or other political activity.
    • In most instances, grant funds to individuals are counted as taxable income on the recipient’s federal tax return. Please contact your accountant if you have questions.
    • If there are significant changes to a business or attraction’s structure or personnel during the grant period, the grant applicant shall notify the Route 66 Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Program of the change in writing.
    • Privacy: Information provided through the application process is the responsibility of each applicant. Applications submitted to Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Program will remain confidential to the general public and any fellow applicants. Applicants will not hold the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership’s officers, employees, and/or agents liable for any losses, damages, costs, or expenses of any kind relating to the use or the adequacy, accuracy, or completeness of any information submitted via the application process.
    • Conflict of Interest:Current directors, officers, employees and contractors of the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership, EW Micro-Grant Review Committee, and such individuals' family members (spouse, parents, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and spouses of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren) are not eligible to receive an award.
    • Publicity: If awarded, please be advised that the business or attraction’s application information, name, statements, and other information provided during the application process may be used for promotional purposes in all forms and media and the business or attraction may be contacted by the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership for such purposes. Applications to the Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Program entails a perpetual license to use such information without additional compensation (except where prohibited by law), and without any right to review and/or approve such content. Until notified, applicants must agree not to share any status as a grant recipient publicly, including but not limited to all social media platforms, news media, or local publications.

      We have prepared a copy of the online application form which you can download. Download the file and use it in preparing your grant appllication. Gather the answers to the form question, prepare your project description, etc... then click step 4 - "Fill our the onlinw Grant Application Form".

      You will receive an acknowledgement after you submit your application and, if relevant, a request for any additional information desired by the Micro-Grant Review Committee.

      IMPORTANT NOTE: You must submit your application using the online form. See section 4.
      Click Here to download the reference form

      Grant Application Form

      Applications must be submitted online

      2023Program Report

      Ten projects across Route 66 received Extraordinary Women Micro-Grant Awards in the round of the program conducted in 2023. Combined, they are making a positive impact by helping retain, sustain, and support women owned/operated businesses along Route 66.

      List of 2023 Awardees

      ProjectDescription
      Stutt’s House of Barbeque
      Tulsa, Oklahoma
      Bring restaurant up to code, by replacing obsolete exhaust hood above range at this BBQ restaurant located in Tulsa’s historic Greenwood District.
      Roxy Theatre
      Holbrook, Arizona
      Complete needed repairs to cracked cement flooring and leaking roof at the last operating theater located on Route 66 in Arizona.
      California Route 66 Museum
      Victorville, California
      Complete construction of a 1950s Diner exhibit at the California Route 66 Museum.
      Rosie the Riveter on Route 66 Documentary Film Project
      Encino, California
      Fund production costs for a new documentary film that tells the story of the women who worked as "Rosie the Riveters" along Route 66.
      Rigby House Café
      Waynesville, Missouri
      Make exterior enhancements to the Rigsby House cafe including flower boxes, café tables, as well as installation of custom period booths in the interior dining room.
      Urban Art Gallery & Gift Shop Project
      Carl Junction, Missouri
      "Rebranding & Rebooting" of Urban Art Gallery & Gift Shop, including new signage, business cards, gift bags, repairs to wooden flooring.
      Rosati Winery & Museum
      St. James, Missouri
      Repair restrooms in a recently purchased winery along Route 66, as well as fund improvements needed to make the facility ADA compliant.
      Flamenco Works Project
      Albuquerque, New Mexico
      Blue Swallow Motel
      Tucumcari, New Mexico
      Neon Queen Project
      Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
      Create a marketing plan and purchase promotional materials designed to engage more youth and families in Flamenco Works' missionRepair original neon damaged by a hailstorm at this iconic Route 66 motel property.Replace neon glass bending equipment to allow the Neon Queen business to train new neon artists.