Small Business Award

Program Eligibility

Hiring Our Heroes’ Small Business Award for Veterans and Military Spouses will award five veteran- and military spouse-owned small businesses with a one-time $10,000 grant.


  • Applicants must be a legal resident of and currently reside in the contiguous 48 states, Alaska and/or Hawaii.
  • Eligible small businesses must be a for-profit business owned by a veteran or military spouse (at least 51% or more ownership) with 3 to 20 employees including the owner, all full or part-time employees, and independent (1099) contractors. For the purposes of this contest, veteran or military spouse means:
    • any person who previously served in the active duty, National Guard or Reserve components of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force or Coast Guard and has an honorable discharge;
    • any person who currently serves in National Guard or Reserve component of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force or Coast Guard; or
    • any person who is presently married to a current member of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard, or any National Guard or Reserve components of the military.
  • Eligible small businesses cannot exceed more than $5 million in annual revenue and must be located in an economically vulnerable community, or the business can otherwise demonstrate financial need brought on by hardship beyond the owner’s control. Economically vulnerable communities are defined as any zip code not in the top 40% of zip codes in the United States, as ranked by the Distressed Communities Index.
  • The following types of businesses and organizations are not eligible to participate:
    1. Franchise brand with more than twenty-five (25) corporate-owned stores, or more than two hundred and fifty (250) stores total.
    2. Not-for-profit businesses
    3. Any government agency, public administration, political organization, or non-profit of any type;
    4. Businesses engaged in any illegal activity;
    5. Gas stations, or businesses located on the same premises as a gas station;
    6. Shopping property management companies;
    7. Direct sellers;
    8. Any business that is primarily in the business of manufacturing, promoting or selling diet aids, cannabis, gambling, tobacco (including tobacco-related equipment, such as e-cigarettes), firearms or other weapons;
    9. Private clubs and businesses which limit the number of memberships for reasons other than capacity;
    10. Businesses principally engaged in teaching, instructing, counseling or indoctrinating religion or religious beliefs, whether in a religious or secular setting;
    11. Businesses that derive directly or indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a sexual nature;
    12. Businesses owned by employees, officers and directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, FedEx, and any affiliated entities, and their respective immediate families (parents, spouse, children, siblings) or individuals residing in their household (whether or not related);
    13. Entities listed on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Sanctions List; and
    14. Any other business that could reasonably be expected to offend a significant portion of FedEx customers or the public.
  • Applicants agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of these official rules and, if applicable, agree to participate in an awards ceremony.

Proof of eligibility, including proof of military service, may be required as part of the selection process and before the award of a $10,000 grant. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Hiring Our Heroes reserves the right to amend these Terms and Conditions at any time without notice, for any reason.