Terms & Conditions
No Purchase Necessary. A Purchase Will Not Increase Your Chances Of Being Selected For A Grant.
Please read carefully all terms and conditions of this agreement. These terms include an agreement to resolve disputes by arbitration on an individual basis.
Participation, and if selected, receipt of a grant in the Grant Program (defined below) is also subject to the terms and conditions of the Venmo User Agreement located at https://venmo.com/legal/us-user-agreement/.
The Venmo Small Business Grant program (the “Grant Program”) is void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law.
1. Eligibility: The Grant Program is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who:
(a) are at least eighteen (18) years old;
(b) have a U.S. Venmo Account and valid business profile on Venmo in good standing, with a profile photo, background photo and business description at the time of application and through the time of any grant award; and (c) own a small business; defined, for purposes of this Grant Program, as a business entity that is duly organized, validly existing and in good standing under the laws of the jurisdiction of its principle place of business (which must be within one of the fifty (50) United States or District of Columbia) that:
can promptly provide all government (i.e., secretary of state) documentation requested by Sponsor or Administrator to show proof of business status;
is active and has sold at least $500 worth of goods or services within the three (3) months prior to the start of the Grant Program Period (defined in Section 4 below); and
employs ten (10) employees or less with less than $50,000 in annual sales.
Establishing a U.S. Venmo Account and valid business profile on Venmo is free and conducting any transactions on Venmo is not an eligibility criteria for this Grant Program. Note, however, that employees of PayPal, Inc, Merkle Inc., Taproot Foundation, Inc., Start Small. Think Big., Inc., and any of their parent and affiliate companies as well as the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children) and household members of each such employee are not eligible. The Grant Program is void where prohibited by law.
2. Sponsor: PayPal, Inc., 2211 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95131. Administrator: Merkle Inc., 3000 Town Center, Floor 21, Southfield, MI 48075.
3. Agreement to Terms & Conditions: Participation in this Grant Program constitutes applicant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Terms & Conditions and Sponsor’s and Administrator’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to this Grant Program. Receiving a grant, if selected, is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein and any additional requirements disclosed by Sponsor.
4. Timing: The Grant Program begins on July 24, 2023 at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time ("ET") and ends on August 7, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET (the "Grant Program Period"). Sponsor's servers are the official time-keeping device for the Grant Program.
5. How to Apply: During the Grant Program Period, visit www.venmo.com/business/small-business-grant (“Grant Site”) and follow the links and instructions to complete and submit the application form, including answering all questions (“Grant Program Questions”)
Your application and responses to the Grant Program Questions will collectively be referred to as your submission ("Submission"). By uploading your Submission, you agree that it conforms to the guidelines, permissions, and content restrictions below and that Sponsor, in its sole discretion, may disqualify you if it believes that it fails to conform. Where your Submission meets all requirements, your Submission will be deemed one (1) Grant Program application.
Each answer to a Grant Program Question in your Submission must not exceed the word limits detailed on the Grant Site; and
The Submission must be in English.
Permissions: Applicant must have permission from any recognizable individuals who you refer to in the Submission to use their names in the Submission and to grant the rights set forth herein. If requested, applicant must be able to provide such permissions or proof in a form acceptable to Sponsor.
The Submission must be your original work;
The Submission must not convey any claims of Sponsor’s products or services that would be deemed unsubstantiated or deceptive if made by Sponsor;
The Submission must not contain material that violates or infringes another’s rights, including but not limited to privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights, or that constitutes copyright infringement and therefore must not contain brand names or trademarks other than those owned by Sponsor;
The Submission must not contain content created by a third party;
The Submission must not disparage Sponsor, or any other person or party;
The Submission must not contain material that is inappropriate, offensive, indecent, obscene, sexually explicit, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous;
Your Submission must not make references to or include: alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, or firearms/weapons, any activities that are or appear to be dangerous, or any political agenda;
The Submission must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age; and
The Submission must not contain material that is unlawful or in violation of or contrary to any applicable laws or regulations.
In completing and submitting an application to participate in the Grant Program, each applicant agrees to: (a) provide true, accurate, current and complete information about the applicant; and (b) maintain and promptly update any such data or information, as necessary, to keep it true, accurate, current and complete. If any information applicant provides is untrue, inaccurate, not current or incomplete, we have the right to terminate your application for the Grant Program, and may withhold any awarded funds. In addition, in such an event, applicant agrees to return to Sponsor any previously awarded funds. As the applicant, you acknowledge and agree that our ability to facilitate the processing of the grant and participation in the Grant Program depends on your cooperation. Limit: Each applicant may upload one (1) Submission during the Grant Program Period. Submissions received from any person or email address in excess of the stated limit will be void. Submissions generated by script, macro or other automated means are void. Released Parties (as defined in Section 10, below) are not responsible for lost, late, stolen, damaged, incomplete, invalid, un-intelligible, garbled, delayed, or misdirected Submissions; all of which will be void.
6. Sponsor's Use of Submissions: Uploading a Submission constitutes applicant’s grant to Sponsor of a royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, create derivative works from, and display such Submission in whole or in part, on a worldwide basis, and to incorporate it into other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed, for any purpose including for promotional or marketing purposes. If requested, applicant will sign any documentation that may be required for Sponsor or its designees to make use of the non-exclusive rights applicant is granting to use the Submission.
7. Grant Recipient Determination: A panel of qualified judges, determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, will select forty (40) applicants based on the following Judging Criteria:
How inspirational, innovative or particularly original is your business’ story? (30%)
How well does your application demonstrate passion for your small business and concrete plans for where you plan to take it next? (30%)
How well does your application demonstrate that your active and engaged usage of a Venmo business profile has and will continue to benefit your business? (20%)
How, if applicable, has being a member of a historically underrepresented community (Black, Women, Latinx, etc.) shaped your entrepreneurial experience? (20%)
Those forty (40) selected applicants will be deemed the finalists in this Grant Program. Sponsor will conduct an initial eligibility review of the finalists. If a finalist gets disqualified during that initial eligibility review, the next highest scoring applicant will replace the disqualified finalist. If there are less than forty (40) eligible finalists in this Grant Program, Sponsor reserves the right to name less than forty (40) finalists. Once the initial eligibility review is complete, the finalists will be rejudged by a different panel of qualified judges, determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, using the same Judging Criteria detailed above. Subject to each finalist’s compliance with these Terms & Conditions, the twenty (20) finalists whose Submissions receive the twenty (20) highest scores in the finalist judging will each be deemed a potential Grant Program grant recipient. If there are less than twenty (20) eligible applicants selected from among the finalists, the Sponsor reserves the right to award less than twenty (20) grants. In the event of a tie during either judging phase, the applicant whose Submission received the highest score for the "How well does your application demonstrate that using a Venmo business profile has and will continue to benefit your business?" criteria as determined by the qualified judges in their sole discretion, will be deemed the finalist or, as applicable, the Grant Program grant recipient. Sponsor may review the content posted by potential Grant Program grant recipients on their social accounts to determine if potential Grant Program grant recipients appropriately represent Sponsor’s brand. If social content reveals that a potential Grant Program grant recipient has engaged in conduct that could damage the reputation of Sponsor or any of the Released Parties, as determined by Sponsor in its discretion, the potential Grant Program grant recipient will be disqualified and Sponsor will select another potential Grant Program grant recipient.
8. Grant Recipient Requirements: Potential Grant Program grant recipients will be notified by email on or around September 1, 2023. Each potential Grant Program grant recipient (or parent/legal guardian if a minor in their state of residence) will be required to complete, sign (as applicable) and return a Declaration of Compliance, Liability Waiver, tax documentation and, where not prohibited by law, a Publicity Release ("Declaration"), which must be received by Administrator within three (3) days of the date notice or attempted notice is sent, in order to claim the grant. Sponsor and Administrator reserve the right to contact applicants at any time about this Grant Program using the information provided in their application materials, Including for eligibility verification purposes. Sponsor and Administrator may ask you for certain historical and financial information for purposes of eligibility verification.
Applicant understands that all determinations of whether an applicant meets the eligibility requirements are final, and are not subject to any appeal or contest.
As part of accepting the grant in this Grant Program, potential Grant Program grant recipients agree to provide photos and/or participate in a filmed interview (“Grant Footage”). Sponsor will own the Grant Footage it or its designee films as set forth in the Publicity Section below. If a potential Grant Program grant recipient cannot be contacted, fails to execute and return the Declaration or provide any other requested information, within the required time period, does not comply with these Terms & Conditions, or if a grant is returned as undeliverable, the potential Grant Program grant recipient forfeits the grant. If a potential Grant Program grant recipient is disqualified for any reason, the grant may be awarded to a runner-up, if any, in Sponsor’s sole discretion. Only two (2) alternate Grant Program grant recipients may be determined, after which the applicable grant may remain un-awarded.
9. Grants: TWENTY (20) GRANTS: Each grant consists of USD $10,000, to be fulfilled as a check. Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $10,000.
Grants are non-transferable and no substitution will be made except as provided herein at the Sponsor’s sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a grant for one of equal or greater value if the designated grant should become unavailable for any reason. Grant Program grant recipients are responsible for all taxes and fees associated with grant receipt and/or use. Limit: One (1) grant per person. Total ARV of all grants: $200,000. Grants will be fulfilled 8 – 10 weeks after all Grant Program grant recipients are confirmed.
Grant recipients must use the grant for the purpose of running and growing the business described in their application for this Grant Program, and grant recipients are prohibited from using any portion of the grant for any other purpose, including without limitation for personal or illegal use.
Sponsor may, at any time within five (5) years of award of the grant, request that any grant recipient provide Sponsor with reasonable documentation evidencing grant recipient’s use of the grant in accordance with these Terms & Conditions. If any grant recipient fails to provide requested documentation within a reasonable time or if Sponsor determines that any grant recipient has used some or all of the grant for other purposes (as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion), then grant recipient will promptly return to Sponsor the full value of any grant awarded to them upon demand by Sponsor.
10. Release: By receipt of any grant, each Grant Program grant recipient agrees to release and hold harmless the Sponsor, Administrator, Taproot Foundation, Inc., Start Small. Think Big., Inc. and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, suppliers, distributors, advertising/promotion agencies, and grant suppliers, and each of their respective parent companies and each such company’s officers, directors, employees and agents (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action, including, but not limited to, personal injury, death, or damage to or loss of property, arising out of participation in the Grant Program or receipt or use or misuse of any grant.
11. Publicity: Acceptance of any grant shall constitute and signify each Grant Program grant recipient’s agreement and consent that Sponsor and its designees may use the Grant Program grant recipient’s name, business name, city, state, likeness, photo, Submission, Grant Footage and/or grant information in connection with the Grant Program for promotional, advertising or other purposes, worldwide, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, including the Internet, without limitation and without further payment, notification, permission or other consideration, except where prohibited by law. Sponsor reserves the right to use or not to use the Grant Footage for promotional or other purposes, in its own discretion.
12. General Conditions: Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Grant Program if any fraud, technical failures, human error, any other factor that impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Grant Program, or any event or cause beyond Sponsor’s control (e.g. events such as natural calamities, epidemics, pandemics, national emergencies, wide spread illnesses, declarations of war, acts of God, acts of terrorism) interferes with any aspect of the Grant Program, including but not limited to fulfillment of the grant(s), as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. If the Grant Program is terminated, Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, determine the Grant Program grant recipients from among all non-suspect, eligible entries received up to the time of such action using the judging procedure outlined above. Sponsor may also modify the grants offered. In addition, Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the application process or the operation of the Grant Program or to be acting in violation of the Terms & Conditions of this or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner and void all associated Submissions. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Grant Program may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages and other remedies (including attorneys’ fees) from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Terms & Conditions shall not constitute a waiver of that term.
13. Agreement to Arbitrate: Each participant agrees that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Grant Program or any grant awarded, including without limitation federal and state statutory claims, common law claims, and those based in contract, tort, fraud, misrepresentation or any other legal theory, shall be resolved exclusively through final and binding arbitration, rather than in court, except that the claimant may assert claims in small claims court, if the claims qualify and so long as the matter remains in such court and advances only on an individual (non-class, non-representative) basis. This Agreement to Arbitrate is intended to be broadly interpreted. The Federal Arbitration Act governs the interpretation and enforcement of this Agreement to Arbitrate.
Arbitration is more informal than a lawsuit in court. Arbitration uses a neutral arbitrator or arbitrators instead of a judge or jury, and court review of an arbitration award is very limited. However, the arbitrator can award the same damages and relief on an individual basis that a court can award to an individual. The arbitrator also must follow the terms of this agreement as a court would. All issues are for the arbitrator to decide, except that issues relating to arbitrability, the scope or enforceability of this Agreement to Arbitrate, or the interpretation of the Prohibition of Class and Representative Actions and Non-Individualized Relief section below, shall be for a court of competent jurisdiction to decide.
The arbitration will be conducted by the American Arbitration Association (referred to as the "AAA") under its rules and procedures, as modified by this Agreement to Arbitrate. The AAA’s rules are available at www.adr.org. In the event that the AAA is unavailable to administer the arbitration, another administrator will be selected by the parties or by the court.
The arbitration shall be held in the county in which you reside or at another mutually agreed location. If the value of the relief sought is $10,000 or less, either party may elect to have the arbitration conducted by telephone or based solely on written submissions, which election shall be binding on the parties subject to the discretion of the arbitrator to require an in-person hearing, if the circumstances warrant. In cases where an in-person hearing is held, either party may attend by telephone, unless the arbitrator require otherwise.
The arbitrator will decide the substance of all claims in accordance with applicable law, including recognized principles of equity, and will honor all claims of privilege recognized by law. The award of the arbitrator shall be final and binding, and judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.
Payment of all filing, administration, and arbitrator fees will be governed by the AAA’s rules, unless otherwise stated in this Agreement to Arbitrate. If you are able to demonstrate that the costs of accessing arbitration will be prohibitive as compared to the costs of accessing a court for purposes of pursuing litigation on an individual basis, Sponsor will pay as much of the filing, administration, and arbitrator fees as the arbitrator deems necessary to prevent the cost of accessing the arbitration from being prohibitive. In the event the arbitrator determine the claim(s) you assert in the arbitration to be frivolous, you agree to reimburse Sponsor for all fees associated with the arbitration paid by Sponsor on your behalf that you otherwise would be obligated to pay under the AAA’s rules.
With the exception of any of the provisions in the Prohibition of Class and Representative Actions and Non-Individualized Relief section below, if a court decides that any part of this Agreement to Arbitrate is invalid or unenforceable, the other parts of this Agreement to Arbitrate shall still apply. If a court decides that any of the provisions in the Prohibition of Class and Representative Actions and Non-Individualized Relief section above is invalid or unenforceable because it would prevent the exercise of a non-waivable right to pursue public injunctive relief, then any dispute regarding the entitlement to such relief (and only that relief) must be severed from arbitration and may be litigated in court. All other disputes subject to arbitration under the terms of the Agreement to Arbitrate shall be arbitrated under its terms.
14. Prohibition of Class and Representative Actions and Non-Individualized Relief: Each participant and Sponsor agree that each of us may bring claims against the other only on an individual basis and not as a plaintiff or class member in any purported class or representative action or proceeding. Unless both participant and Sponsor agree otherwise, the arbitrator may not consolidate or join more than one person’s or party’s claims and may not otherwise preside over any form of a consolidated, representative or class proceeding. Also, the arbitrator may award relief (including monetary, injunctive and declaratory relief) only in favor of the individual party seeking relief and only to the extent necessary to provide relief necessitated by that party’s individual claim(s).
15. Limitations of Liability: Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by applicant, printing, typographical or other errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Grant Program; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the Submission process or the Grant Program; (4) printing, typographical, technical, computer, network or human error which may occur in the administration of the Grant Program, the uploading, processing or judging of Submissions, the announcement of the grants or in any Grant Program-related materials; (5) late, lost, undeliverable, damaged or stolen mail; or (6) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from applicant’s participation in the Grant Program or receipt or use or misuse of any grant. Released Parties are not responsible for misdirected or undeliverable Submissions or for any technical problems, malfunctions of computer systems, servers, providers, hardware/software, lost or unavailable network connections or failed, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmission or any combination thereof. Released Parties are not responsible for any unauthorized third-party use of any Submission.
Each participant agrees that any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Grant Program, but in no event attorneys’ fees. Under no circumstances will a participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and each participant hereby waives all rights to claim, indirect, punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Terms & Conditions, or the rights and obligations of a participant and Sponsor in connection with the Grant Program, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Delaware without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of Delaware or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Delaware.
17. Grant Recipient List: For a grant recipient list, visit https://venmo.com/business/small-business-grant/. The grant recipients will be posted after confirmation is complete.