Small Business Readiness for Resiliency Program

Small businesses are integral to local economies and a community's long-term growth. Yet, in times of a disaster, most small businesses are vulnerable -- and many that are impacted by a disaster cannot recover. In fact, 90% of small businesses that face a disaster fail within two years of that event.

The Small Business Readiness for Resiliency (R4R) initiative seeks to slow post-disaster small-business failures by encouraging investments in readiness and resiliency during pre-disaster "peace" times. 

As natural disasters increase in frequency and intensity, taking proactive measures to develop preparedness and recovery solutions can be the difference between staying open or closing forever after a disaster strikes. 

That's why the U.S. Chamber Foundation and FedEx have teamed up to create R4R. This program guides any interested small business in preparing for a disaster, and then offers quick-turn relief funding of $5,000 for those prepared businesses after a federal disaster declaration is made in their region. More than $500,000 in relief grants is expected to be distributed to prepared small businesses between June 2022 and May 2023.  

How it Works

This program focuses on preparedness and resiliency. We want to ensure that all small businesses have what they need to deal with the impacts of a disaster in their community. 

R4R provides resources and incentives for small businesses (500 or less employees), guiding them to take the actions they need to become more resilient. When they do, they become eligible for grant distribution, should the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issue an Individual Assistance declaration in their county. 

Here's how it works: 

Step 1: Complete the Preparedness Checklist

Download FedEx’s Emergency Preparedness Checklist for Small Businesses (available in English and Spanish), and make sure you have completed an Emergency Action Plan as outlined in the checklist.

Checklist (English)Checklist (Spanish)

Step 2: Register Your Business 

Register your business in our program database by completing this registration form. This ensures that if a disaster strikes your county, we are able to contact you to make you aware of the grant application process. 


Step 3: Apply for Eligibility 

If a disaster strikes your community and your community receives a FEMA Individual Assistance declaration, registered local small businesses will be contacted by the R4R team with notice that grant applications are being accepted. To help ensure this communication can reach you if the time comes, it's a good idea to safelist the email address

Step 4: Grants Awarded (based on eligibility)

Our team will monitor disaster declarations and individual assistance distinctions by FEMA. If your business meets the following criteria and is selected for a grant, we will reach out to you.

  • Your business is located within an area impacted by the declared disaster.
  • Your application (Step 3) was submitted before the FEMA declaration occurred.

For more information, check out our FAQs page or contact us at


To be eligible to receive a grant from the Small Business Readiness for Resiliency Program, a business must meet the following criteria. 

  • Have fewer than 500 employees
  • Review the Emergency Preparedness Checklist for Small Businesses  
  • Have at least one physical or online business location within the United States or its territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Marianas, U.S. Virgin Islands, America Samoa) 
  • Have a valid employee identification number (EIN); a social security number cannot be used for this program 
  • Not be part of a franchise brand with more than 25 corporate-owned stores, or more than 250 stores in total 
  • Not be in an ineligible business category (as defined in the Terms and Conditions)
  • Have its principal physical location in a county that receives a major disaster declaration and qualifies for Individual Assistance 
  • Have been financially harmed by a disaster and incur an uncovered loss 
  • Incur applicable disaster-related damages or losses that equal or exceed $5,000 
  • Agree to all the Grant Program Rules

More information on eligibility and process can be found here.

Grantmakers: Get Involved

We are currently accepting additional funding to expand R4R's impact and support more small businesses. If your company is interested in joining founding supporter FedEx and others in funding this program, please reach out to Rebecca Mousseau

"FedEx is proud to continue its long history of supporting small business resiliency and recovery. This multi-year commitment with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation allows us to contribute directly to small businesses that actively prepare for natural disasters." 
- Jenny Robertson, SVP, Integrated Marketing and Communications, FedEx